Progress continues with my 2-year-old son’s verbal dyspraxia. It’s a neurologically based speech disorder which, in my son’s case, meant at his second birthday he spoke, very poorly, only 5 words — words like Mama and Papa. He didn’t babble like other babies and toddlers do, no animal sounds, no car sounds when playing with cars. We later learned there were many sounds he was incapable of making.
We had the task of spurring him to make sounds, and later, words. The more effort put into saying a word, the harder it was for him. The goal is to make speech so familiar it’s like a reflex, no thought involved.
He’s been seeing a speech language pathologist twice a week and a special education teacher from our county office of education once a week for play therapy. We backed it up at home with Kaufman flash cards and reciting words found in picture books and naming things found in pictures. Our son grew to enjoy books and is very good about sitting down for a session of saying words. And, of course, he has to ask for everything he wants, by sign language at first, and now by spoken words.
Today, about half his speech is muddled, only understandable to Mom and Dad, and there are some sounds he still cannot make.
However, our speech pathologist believes he’s doing so well he that he won’t qualify for state-sponsored therapy after his third birthday. Yay! But of course, he still has a speech impairment and we have every intention of continuing therapy and working on this so he’s hopefully “normal” by the time he enters kindergarten.
All of this is a long way of saying, yesterday my son strapped himself into a car seat temporarily located in our living room and sat there with a toy dinosaur and a bagel. Then he said, “Dino me feed bagel.”
Meanwhile, my first grader is reading at a fifth grade reading level. Whole book series’ on our Wall of Awesome have been skipped because her reading ability has progressed so fast.
I often read her pertinent articles from the newspaper, but yesterday morning she picked up a weekly paper herself and read about a mountain lion attack. This morning, she picked up a daily newspaper, checked the table of contents, then flipped through to read the weather report. I’ve never shown her how to navigate a newspaper. I swear she’s a robot covertly operating as an advance scout for an invading alien force.