Just a month into Dylan's six months of weekly speech therapy sessions, he's had quite the breakthrough. We're not sure if it's the therapy, the different approaches they suggested for our verbal interactions with him at home (putting things out of his reach to force him to ask for them, not guessing or aticulating for him, letting him lead the conversation, etc.), our increased emphasis on verbal interactions or if he was finally just ready, but the night before his therapy sesson, he said about 25-30 new words from a toddler "first words" book for the first time.
This was part of his therapy session. Saying something that he knows is incorrect has been a reliable way to get him talking, as the therapist does here.
He even added a new word during the session when the therapist blocked the tunnel on the train tracks he'd built: "Move!"
Since then, he's added even more words everyday, including the critical two and three-word sentences that the experts were concerned about him not using. Like last night when I was helping him wash his hands and showing him how to blow bubbles through his fingers. When I stopped, he said, "Make more bubbles!" He added the requisite "please" once I reminded him. Now he's regularly adding "please" and "thank you," which are musts for us.
A couple days ago, Jason said Ava was dawdling as they tried to leave the house one morning and he sent Dylan back to get her while he loaded the car. He heard him march back into the house, track her down and say, "Ava: come on!"
He's picking up steam verbally and it's lovely to see. The therapist said he may not even need to continue the full six months if this progress continues. And best of all for me as a book lover: he now will not leave the house without one of his Thomas the Train books and asks for at least two every night before bed. We've come a long way. I can't wait to see what the spring and summer bring for him.