That made Mommy mad. And you don't want to make Mommy mad.
After many calls and emails, and the help of the staff at Artz, we were finally victorious! I received an email from the benefits office at my job saying Aetna had changed the policy and they were going to cover Anthony's speech therapy!
Paul and I were both able to attend today's appointment. We liked Juli, Anthony's therapist, right away. She gave Anthony a chance to warm up to her and before long he was smiling and flirting with her. She was very encouraging about Anthony's attempts to communicate. Juli explained that our focus right now should be on encouraging him to vocalize more, and to treat any vocalizations as an attempt to communicate. She said that before kids say their first words, they spend months babbling all the time. Anthony does babble, but we want to increase it and to teach him that when he vocalizes he can make things happen.
(Juli noted that Anthony likes to make things happen.)
This is our homework for the next 2 weeks:
1) Imitate Anthony
2) Treat any vocaliztion as an intent to communicate
3) Pair vocalizations with a physical movement (for example, when throwing a ball say "Ready, set... and then WAIT until HE vocalizes, and then say "Go!" and throw the ball). This teaches him that he can have an effect on his environment using his "words".
We learned a lot in our first session and look forward to helping our little guy improve his communication skills!