April 22, 2011

The Parrot

          Hubby has started referring to SB as, "The Parrot." Thanks to her progress in speech therapy, she has started to mimic everything we say. All day long. It's fabulous. One of these days, I am going to follow her around with a video camera to capture it.
          Granted, most of the time, the best she can do is approximate what she hears. There are a number of sounds she cannot make. And, much of what she says can only be understood by us. Allow me to translate some of her most commonly used words/terms:

Di (short i) Du - Thank you
Dee Dee - used for our dog Shaggy and Dora the Explorer
Yay Yo - Deigo, Dora's cousin
Bee Bee Ya Ya - her pacifier, or Binky
Ba Bop - Grandpop (my dad)
Dis - This
Dee Dee Hoop - Dora the Explorer Soup

          Most children would reach this stage a little earlier, but with Apraxia, it is incredibly encouraging that SB is able to do this at all. She will be behind many of her peers for a while to come. But she will catch up, hopefully by the time she begins school.
          She is also regularly speaking in simple two and three word sentences.

Mommy hep me.
Di Du, Mommy! (the child has manners!)
Me do.
Dee Dee baff (referring to the dog on this one)
Dis my (insert object here)
I want (insert object here)
Peeze Mommy dis (pointing to object if she can't say/sign it)
No ho(me), more p(l)ay! (We got this as we left the park recently.)

          The head of her school says this is fantastic. Often when young children are in intensive speech therapy, like SB is, they focus so much on sounds that their overall language development freezes and they fall behind. The fact that SB is doing something age appropriate like this is great.
          Other things she can do which we find amazing:

Recite the alphabet (she does often skip a letter or two)
Spell out words she sees
Recognize and say the numbers 1-10, count objects up to 10
Recognize and say or sign all basic colors and shapes
  
         As her verbal skills improve, she is relying less on sign language, although she still signs regularly. And sometimes, even I can't understand what she is saying. So I will tell her, "Use your words and signs." That helps tremendously.
          She also signs in sentences. For example, "Go to friends' house." I get this a lot, because she loves to play with the kids down the street from us. "Grindy and Grandpop car, baseball game." My parents and I took SB to her first baseball game recently. She had a blast, and often signs about it.
          She is very patient, and rarely becomes frustrated when we can't understand her. We tell her we are proud of her and happy to hear her speak, and want very much to understand what she is communicating. And that seems to be enough for her.
          All this from a child who just six months ago could only say, Mama, Dada and Da (for "that") at 22 months old.
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