Here are the photos that didn’t show up in the last post for some reason!
An idiosyncrasy of Junior’s speech is that she doesn’t use gender identifying pronouns correctly. He/she her/his all come out interchangeably. It never really bothered me that much, because it was easy enough to understand what she meant. However, I’ve now decided to make a project of it. I’m hoping it will be relatively easy to fix, and make her speech sound more natural to people who don’t know her so well.
My allies in this are Topsy and Tim – the boy-girl twin starts of the CBeebies show with the same name. There is nothing in the show itself about pronouns, but we acquired the tie in magazine, and we’ve been playing with the toys and activities. A simple thing that’s worked really well is for me to say something about Tim (He has brown eyes) and then ask Junior to tell me the same thing about Topsy (She has brown eyes). And on and on on any theme or storyline you like, keeping the echo going to constantly compare and contrast the male and female pronouns.
What helps a lot is that Junior is starting to read. We cut out the biggest pictures of Topsy and Tim from the magazine and wrote ‘She’ and ‘Her’ on Topsy’s tummy and ‘He’ and ‘His’ on Tim’s tummy. This improved her accuracy a lot. And a nice side benefit that her teacher thinks we’ve been super diligent teaching her sight words. Take the praise where you can get it!
Cutting up the kids’ food. A little parenting habit that you internalise. Then one day you’re at a work lunch and you only just stop yourself leaning across and offering to slice up your colleague’s chicken.
Here’s another habit that I’ve absorbed – to build up my kids speech. Echo their sentences back adding a word. A therapist taught it to me when Junior was at two word sentence level and we wanted her to move on to three word sentences. I find it works for all stages.
I think it helps gently nudge the kids towards more complicated sentence structures. More than that – it always makes me feel happier in myself – because it is a speech booster that is achievable on even the most stressful days.
I’m setting myself a challenge: echo and add ten times for ten consecutive days. I’ll report back.
I don’t know why my baby didn’t speak. I do know that I didn’t keep her in a cupboard under the stairs – and so my working assumption is that it’s quite possible there are other factors ‘mixed’ in, which have led to her being slower to talk.
So, while she’s too small to screen for autism, and probably wouldn’t be ‘autistic enough’ to attract any real help in any case… but I think it doesn’t harm to keep that in mind as a possibility.
These cupcakes are part of that. I wanted to work on words for emotions, but also on recognising emotions. These cupcakes look quite glum – but most of them were happy! The faces are very easy – chocolate balls for eyes and mouths pressed with the edge of a cookie cutter. However – this activity has a high tantrum potential…. although they look a mess, the ones in the picture were largely made my an adult – and the activity ended up being the talking while eating the cakes. Good enough … yuh?