For everyone not involved in our immediate family, my daughter is three and has about 10 English words, 10 ASL, 10 "made up" words..and the rest of her communication is nods, gestures, pantomime, onomatopoeia, and "da da da diiiiiii, da da da diiiii." She gets her point across effectively most times (or at least enough of her point), but still- the child doesn't speak English, and has no desire to.
After the speech therapist (ST) asked me what I hoped to have happen today (I want to learn a few tricks and games to help Ernie WANT to speak), here is what happened:
- Speech Therapist (ST) pointed at pictures, and very carefully asked E "What's this?" She would reply "Dadoy" (I don't know), and the ST would carefully say "House. House. House. Can you say that?" It took a few of these marvelous pictures for the ST to ask me if she'd ever imitated words. Ummm...no. To imitate a dog barking is a VERY recent development. The child does what she wants, when she wants to, and in her own way. Thankyouverymuch. (I'm very grateful that "her way" often means following directions promptly, just because she delights in getting things right and in order.)
- We moved to her other book- Ernie was then asked to identify the spoon, big brown dog, little white cat in a box, big white cat outside of the box, the boy waiting for the girl to go down the slide, circles, squares, triangles, red balls, green balls, all colors of balls, etc.
- A few questions I thought were funny, but the scorer marked her as wrong:
- Which animal has the longest nose? She picked the squirrel, the correct answer was the mole. The mole had a little tiny nose on a snout, the squirrel had that whole honkin' thing on front of his face.
- A picture of three girls: one short with well-fitting pants, one tall with short-fitting pants, one medium with too-long pants. Which one has the shortest pants? She picked the short girl: technically, her pants were smallest.
So, after all this the ST calculated the results of the test and declared that Ernie is comprehending at an age 4 level. Her comprehension is exactly average (huh?), and her speaking ability is 2 standard deviations below average. Please have her hearing tested, and bring her in for twice-a-week intensive parent/child therapy.
I stayed up late the night before reading a book called "The Einstein Syndrome." The basic premise of the book is this: There is a group of late-speaking children out there who are remarkably gifted. Oddly enough, the majority of them share these characteristics:
- Close family members are either musicians, or in a highly analytical field such as engineering, mathematics, flight pilot, accountant, etc.
- Children show remarkable patience at an early age for puzzles and other "building" games, and have an amazing ability to put these together.
- Fantastic memory
- Educated parents
- Lagging social development
- Delayed toilet training.
- Normally boys
- Can not have a back and forth conversation before age 4 1/2