June 6, 2011

A secret language

          SB is doing amazingly well in speech therapy. And in the past few weeks, she has experienced a vocabulary explosion. We lost count of all the new words we were hearing. It's been exciting for all of us.
          She's making incredible progress for a child with CAS. This was confirmed in a conference at her school last week. Her speech and physical therapists think she is doing great.
          That being said, it's important to note her speech is quite different from most kids her age. People have a tendency to assume because she is doing so well, it means she is speaking normally. And that is simply not the case.
          The best many children with CAS can do is approximate words. So when they repeat something that is said to them, it will likely sound different, and often does not sound anything at all like what they mean. And this is true with SB.
          They also have difficulty coordinating sounds into words. The more complex the word, the more they struggle. This is classic CAS. It is a motor planning disorder.
          There are a lot of sounds SB is able to make in isolation that she cannot not make when saying a word. The "s" sound is one example. She can make the "s" sound all by itself, but when she says a word that has the letter in it, the sound does not come out.
           So, what she does is replace the sound she cannot make with one she can. Using the "s" as an example, here are some of the words in her vocabulary:

  • hun = sun
  • dinewhore = dinosaur
  • heep = sleep
  • outhide = outside
  • whool = school
  • whose = shoes
  • yesh = yes

          Great! That's easy enough. H=S. You think you've got it now, right? Except that H does not always mean S. Just the other day she asked for "hoo hiez." Any ideas on that one? I didn't understand, until she pointed to a picture of french fries on the menu.

This has ended up being a really long post. I personally find it easier to read short posts, so I decided to break this up into two parts. Tune in later in the week to read more about SB's "secret" language...
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