The Jacob’s Ladder perspective for children who have been diagnosed with a language delay looks beyond the diagnosis to the whole child. For children with a language delay that centers around any physiological or structural concerns, Jacob’s Ladder utilizes a variety of oral motor activities to bring awareness to these areas of the mouth and to encourage volitional movement. When a language delay addresses a child’s language output, Jacob’s Ladder will continuously push for all children to produce meaningful language.
All necessary components of expressive language are addressed through the Jacob’s Ladder Whole Brain Language Program. The WBLP starts with working volitional oral motor movements, as utilization of the lips, tongue, and mouth are integral to the production of language. Along with oral motor movements, volitionally producing a wide variety of simple sounds are required for meaningful language. In addition, determining a child’s current level of receptive and expressive language is critical. By first building a bank of a child’s receptive knowledge and then working for verbal identification, we are then able to place an emphasis on articulation if needed. Children at any stage of verbal output are held to the expectation of verbal output when requesting wants and needs. By continuing to provide children with the motivation to use their language, we have seen an increase in volitional output.
Jacob’s Ladder places a high value on providing all children with a voice. In addition to expressive verbal output, we take into consideration all possible modes of communication when determining a language focus for a child. Based on a child’s individual needs and abilities, from fine motor control to volitional eye movement, incorporating an assisted communication device or sign language into a child’s program will provide them with a mode of communication. As part of the integrated care model, a licensed Speech Language Pathologist is available for individual speech therapy services and to consult with on using assisted communication devices.