If you have followed my previous posts about Stacey, an adorable kindergartner who may be at risk for learning and language problems, you’ll know that I am still fretting over her language development. I am NOT a speech-language therapist but have taught special needs kids long enough to recognize when a referral might be appropriate.
To summarize my concerns about her language development, Stacey does not appear to understand a lot of verbal communication and her language often sounds well below what you would expect from a child her age. On the other hand, she has experienced significant trauma and grew up in a bilingual environment. She often engages others by using memorized phrases and sounds which have previously elicited a positive reaction. If Stacey can see what is being discussed, her responses seem more on track.
Here’s a smattering of some recent informal interactions. We were putting together a cute Bratz spa (a nice alternative to spa apps) and as I struggled to cut the items free from their box, Stacey looked at the scissors and said, “They’re shark.” It took me a moment to realize she was saying “sharp,” by which time I did indeed slice my finger. The spa had a working sink and sprayer, so I filled it for her and watched her douse Yasmin’s hair. When she ran out of water, Stacey said, “You’re plugging me!” She demonstrated her meaning by shaking the now-empty sink. When we refilled it, she said, “You didn’t put the… most. You have to put 99.” I asked, “Do you want me to put in more water?” Stacey replied, “99 water, OK?” (At least she gets percentages!) When she rearranged some spa items, Stacey commented, “I’m putting down it.” When she had tired of the spa, Stacey was frustrated when her sib and his friend wouldn’t share walkie talkies. She came over to me and complained, “They’re not sharing hings.”
In my next Stacey post, I’ll share what happened when we played the storytelling card game.