Belle is doing well and consistently adds to the lively chatter in our home ūüôā She has approximately 35 words that she says regularly, although someone from outside our family may only understand about half of those without an interpretation.

Belle has been working with Whitney, our Speech Language Pathologist with TalkTools, for about 18 months now. We get to see Whitney in person about twice a year, we email regularly, and have video conferences as needed. This month, however, we decided that it was time to start scheduling therapy sessions for Belle via Skype 2-4 times per month.

Belle has reached a point in her development that I need additional assistance with her oral motor placement exercises. She is striving for more independence and understands that speaking is a way for her to be heard and quickly get her needs met.

Working with Whitney this month has allowed me to better understand how each exercise is used to encourage a particular mouth posture, sound, etc. She has helped me to revamp our current TalkTools program to minimize frustration on many levels.

In a matter of a few days, Belle no longer needs the straw to blow bubbles through the wand. She can do it all by herself!  I am so thankful for these additional therapy sessions, and Belle is making great strides!

Here are¬†three quick videos that highlight Belle’s progress¬†in month 23.

Belle Blowing Bubbles with No Straw!


Belle Practicing with TalkTools’¬†Apraxia Shapes


Belle Chomping on Her Red & Yellow Chewy Tubes


-Lanie Beetsma

Annabelle has Down Syndrome and has been using TalkTools Therapy since she was born. Her story is a great inspiration for parents seeking help for a child with Down Syndrome. Follow Miss Annabelle’s journey from the beginning here.

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