His mother Mandy was feeling anxious about what she was seeing with her son. Thomas was talking by the time he was 3, but there were problems.
“He could speak short sentences, but he was pushing his words together and I couldn’t understand him,” Mandy said.
He had the vocabulary, but he struggled to get the words out. And then he would get frustrated or would act silly to redirect, his mom said.
After checking with their pediatrician and with their therapist at IU-13, she decided she wanted private therapy.
“So we came to Schreiber,” Mandy said.
They started working with Katie, who noticed something right away: Thomas was talking too fast.
“When he came in, he was hard to understand,” Katie said. “He talked really fast. He was making articulation errors, grammar errors. He was using wrong verbs. The first rule we had was: Slow down.”
Mandy said it was like she flipped a switch.
“By the third session, he was a different kid,” she said. “She gave him the tools in three sessions to make him just relax. She gave him the reassurance and the confidence to slow down.”
His problems aren’t as complex as some of the kids Katie sees. There’s no underlying diagnosis other than speech and language delay. And while each child is unique, it’s fairly common to see kids with language delays, Katie said. T was evaluated before he came to Schreiber, and that therapist recommended services.
“Sometimes, kids need services to correct those things,” she said. “Based on the great progress he has already made, starting therapy was a good choice.”
Thomas has a specific set of therapy goals. He’s learning to read cues so he’s aware when people have trouble understanding him. He’s working on the difference between past tense and present tense.
“He might say ‘we eated pizza’ or ‘we go to the store’ when he meant ‘we went to the store,'” Katie said.
He’s working on a couple of specific sounds that give him trouble, like making sure an “L” sound doesn’t slip into a “W.”
And, of course, he’s trying to take it slow.
Mandy said the difference is huge.
“He’s proud of his behavior,” she said. “He’s a storyteller, and he’s funny. He’s able to use words to make a joke. He’s T now – the T I always knew he would be.”
And she gave Katie and Schreiber all the credit.
“They are magicians,” Mandy said. “And that’s not everywhere. Even in the medical community, that’s not most places. This place is special.”
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