PROGRESS REPORT – OLIVIER
Melbourne Therapy Centre
221 Wonga Rd., Warranwood
Therapist- Katherine Rudolph -Exploring the Word in Colour and Speech
- COURSE OF THERAPY
Olivier is a strong six-year-old blue-eyed child with light brown hair, born 31/8/2004, who has a global developmental delay. He has a self-assertive way of behaving, and knows what he wants. His language and speech development, as well as his motor skills need attention. He manifests a deficiency of attentiveness and is easily distracted, unless he is particularly interested in the activity.
Olivier needs more formative forces in his speaking and deeper breathing from the diaphragm. He has a lisp at present, which already shows some improvement. He can pronounce all letters of the alphabet, but needs practice speaking and singing them in sequence on his own.
The right-left centring needs work. In the development of ‘crossing’, the first movement is the focusing as an infant, then comes turning from right to left, the crawling process, and finally walking and talking. Later the process of thinking is also part of the right-left movement of the brain. Exercises with speech and movement in ‘crossing’ will help to centre and incarnate Olivier. He walks at this time with toes turned a bit inwards. His balance is thus sometimes affected.
All of this will hopefully improve as we continue with specially evolved verses and exercises with walking and talking. Elementary hand movements between right and left are also being carried through in conjunction with speech. An individually devised ‘Story -in–Motion’ with exercises interspersed, has been made and repeated in sequence in the last 8 eight weeks. This will eventually appear in its entirety
The entire first story (about planting a seed) also containing the right–left movement exercises, has almost been completed at this time. This is the substance, which will be used repetitively to create a structure and a special interest, whereby Olivier’s speech and motor skills will gradually be benefited. Patience and positive feedback are very important for his development.
At the beginning of each session has also been painting or pastel work. After experiencing Olivier’s need for more form around him, I have begun to devise a Pastel House each time into which Olivier can enter with colour and draw what he wishes. Each time, out of the apparently random circular drawing certain forms have appeared which I make him aware of. He helps to spread the lines he makes into the coloured surface, which is in a protected space. Special crosses and figure eights emerge, which show a harmonious drawing. In a child with such an expansive disposition, which could border on Hysteria rather that Neurosthenia, this kind of preliminary structure can become calming.
- IMPULSE FOR SPEECH
Olivier is eager to express himself and generally has a friendly voice. His speaking is often somewhat slurred. He can usually communicate what he wants, and can repeat songs and verses bit by bit. When he is engaged there is great improvement. If he is contrary for some reason, distracted or suddenly self-conscious, one can only change the subject for a time and later coax him back to the subject matter with added sympathy. At present Xavier loves the ‘Hippy-Happy-Hoppy’ rabbit theme. After practicing the hopping first on one foot and then on the other and the jumping involved in the verse, which is a learning process for him, he gets to pull out carrots for the rabbit. He especially loves pulling these pretend carrots out of the garden. I hold on to one side of a cloth and kneel on the floor. He pulls until I let go. This activates the solar-plexus, which helps the incarnation process and the development of the will. The same end is reached in the process of the ‘Brave Seed True’ in speech and movement, which begins lying down and turning, stretching, and lifting in relation with spoken phrases and poetic lines.
The repetition of all of the verses is to be carried on even if Olivier does not immediately follow on speaking. I have noticed that he absorbs the words unconsciously and can later speak them by heart. When he tries consciously, it sometimes doesn’t work. He responds to full well articulated speech, and the forming forces therein help to form his own organs of speech. His enjoyment of sound makes a lot of difference.
- BREATHING FLOW – VOWELS AND CONSONANTS
Olivier needs to breathe more from the diaphragm. The throwing gesture with the balls augments the breathing when he speaks a word or sound. This can be made into a game. It is best if he doesn’t think he is ‘supposed’ to say a word or phrase each time, but he does it naturally for the enjoyment. He will also benefit by choosing his activity and the sticking to his individual choice. Therefore I let him ‘lead’ sometimes. Or I whisper the words he is meant to say and then repeat them myself, as if he were the teacher. This allows him to fulfil his choleric tendencies and learn in the process.
The story process starts with the plosive consonants B, M, N, H and alliteration and goes on later to more differentiated speech. The sequence K L S F M given by Dr. Steiner, has been made into a song which will gradually help the fluency. The consonants L D T N, spoken just behind the teeth, are important in helping to overcome the lisping tendency. Later specific exercises to help stop the lisping will be given, woven into the story sequence.
The vowel is living ‘in a house’ protected by consonants. At this point its clear forming with the consonant only needs to be heard and imitated. Children of Olivier’s age ARE all the colours and the vowels in a sense. The forming forces are still shaping the physical body. Later work with the vowels as such can wait until after seven years old.
- EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
In these preliminary eight sessions, rapport with Olivier and understanding his character has been in progress. How to engage his interest in a playful mood has been practiced. He gradually needs to come to a sense of how he is growing bigger and stronger by these efforts. He is at the fourth stage of the ‘Brave Seed True’ exercise. He should not be hurried and time must be devoted to helping him strengthen the lifting of the left side and the quickening of the solar plexus muscles.
He should not feel that he is being tested, judged or studied. But positive reinforcement can be very helpful, particularly because he has a deep underlying sense of self and a strong perceptive and intuitive ability. He perceives much more than he is aware of in relation to the feelings of others and could be manipulative. He must not be encouraged if he misbehaves, but a pleasant attitude can pull him quickly out of a contrary moment.
Olivier is already growing a bit more centred, I believe. Continued speech and movement, with colour to begin the sessions is recommended. The positive interest and engagement of his parents is of great assistance in practicing certain exercises at home.