Sunday, July 22, 2012

some changes in the langauge department

The past few weeks have brought another level from Esme. She is making analogies, and comparing things to each other in other ways. She is using more emotion words, and also words like 'forgot'. She is spelling some words, although she often says she 'can't at first. She spouts long narratives and uses phrases like 'now you listen to me mr.frog, are you hearing me, you have to keep yourself clean! How are we ever going to get it now/Now we will never have *x*' That has to be from school - or from a movie? When she knows we are listening she goes off with long theatrics with her toys - they are worried, and happy, and play games, and are mamas and daddies and babies and grandmas to each other. She also told me her two boats in the tub were a pirate ship and a lifeboat, or a speed boat, she wasn't sure on the other one. I have never told her that, but it was interesting to hear it. She has been calling herself a giant to her toys, and having them 'talk about the giant girl' to each other about what they are going to do. She also told me in the bathtub, after hearing it would be ten minutes until supper, that she wanted a nine minutes, not a ten minutes, and when there was nine minutes she would pull the plug. I think she mistakenly thought waiting nine minutes was BETTER in this case than ten, because I am usually asking her to wait ten or fifteen minutes before she can get me to do something (and having her watch the clock for it or telling her how many minutes actually went by). She told me I had not splashed water on her - and I told her it was right there on her head. She said 'No it's not, it's .. it's on my... *long pause as she feels the water obviously on her head and nose* it's on my bed!' And then she burst out laughing. I told her I could put some in her bed, and it would be wet. She said No, my bed is not wet, it is DRY. HAHAHA. I told her I could put her in the bed and then it would be wet, because she was wet in the tub... and she said that was all very funny... very very funny. The rhyme of head/bed was a new one for her ;)

We have decided to keep her on another year at the special school - they said they would let her, but several teachers suggested she might be far enough along now to go to Headstart without problems. Headstart is five days a week, the language school is one day a week. But, I don't think she needs the more days in a less responsive, more crowded atmosphere. Headstart focuses on things she already has a good grip on - letters, numbers, shapes, colors, simple reading and writing. She has been doing those for about two years. The special school focuses on specific developmental problems and tries to work on specific goals. I think the leaps and bounds we have seen since February are because she is hearing proper language attuned to her in a small environment from teachers well trained to pick out problems and try to correct them.

A lot of the children in the school have severe problems, others are just very noticeable physical, social or language problems. Esme's language 'issue' is not easily noticeable now. It has improved a lot from where it was. Even though it was not easily noticeable by strangers back then, it was if they listened for more than a minute, and it was something I wanted, needed help with, to feel I was giving her the best I could. I had her tested as more of a 'catch this now while we can fix it' precaution, and because we were having such a hard time communicating on the otherwise 'advanced' topics she was trying to discuss, like growing, and sickness, and emotions she could not express or understand. She did qualify for services from the wide gap in abilities shown by the tests, far above age on understanding but lacking in many ways in ability to express herself in words.

I think her excellent visual memory and logic/deduction gifts do help her compensate for an area of abstract language that just does not come naturally to her otherwise. The idea of he/she, more/less, emotions, past tense and future and describing things she has seen before but are not here etc...she always found ways to make herself understood to us by repeating things, referring to combinations of objects or making hand signs - but it was still very hard to wrap your head around 'Esme-ese' and translate it back to English. And, unless she gets that area of language naturally sorted - she will have more trouble learning in a regular school when she is older. It does seem to be sorting much better lately, she uses complete sentences and I understand much more of it without having to look at her or try to remember what she is referring to it by the sum of its parts. With a little more attention on that continuing in her school program and just generally following all of her other interests - she will be be set for Kindergarten testing in March or April even without a year of specifically focusing on numbers and letters. In fact, she will probably just blow them away in that regard anyway, even moreso with better communication skills.

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