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I was reading through an old blog post on this site about the early years. It was from around 2009. But I had a question and am seeking advise anyways. My toddler just turned 3 and has Apraxia of speech. His receptive skills are way above average, so I know he is very smart and learning. But as typical of apraxia his responsive skills are very very poor to non existent. On the blog post series Mrs. Sonya was talking about CM philosophy on early years learning. That we are to let the child observe everything he can about a place, object, animal, insect… We get the idea. And report back in their best accuracy their findings. And we are to send them back if they can’t remember. And it says that they are to picture paint scenes into their mind until they get it perfect. They are to do the listening game and describe what they hear.. I really can’t remember all the activities but the point was they do all of it with little prompts from us and do most the telling and describing without input from us. If I want to cultivate these good habits, how can I with a child that can’t speak and I have no way of knowing what he sees, his visions, his words, his experiences without my input? Right now i do it as in see the big butterfly? What color is it? He mutters something I say that’s right it’s yellow. Is it big or small than your hand. He mutters I say that’s right it is bigger. For listening I sit with him and he says Oooh I say ya I hear the owl too or I hear the bird too the bird said and we mimic the sounds. But most all activities are prompted by me. Not him. Am I harming his learning by him not exploring on his own his own way? He gets all the time he wants on his own to play but our learning in all forms is mostly one sided. Are his observation and exploring and attentive skills and all the others he’s practicing using now, be harmed by my guiding everything for him? What if he was thinking the butterfly was smaller or more orange than yellow or not eve seeing the butterfly but the dragonfly instead? If that makes sense? He mostly always agrees with everything I say for everything. So I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. When we practice letters he can point to ones I call out he can sign something’s that we have learned so far but not without prompting him to sign it his own opinions and observations of the world are mutters or silence. I don’t know what to do or how to help or if what we are doing is right?! I’m sorry that was so long thank you for your patience.
I’m not an expert, and I could be wrong, but I would concentrate on communication at this age, signing, speech, both, whatever it takes. You can incorporate CM principles such as looking at beautiful things and talking about them, but he is going to need you to model the responses you are looking for, because he is still working on speech. My opinion is that there is plenty of time later to do things in a more CM way. His greatest needs are communication and connection with people right now.sarah2106Participant
I agree, I would not stress trying to copy CM methods that do not work for your little one right now. It sounds like you are doing a great job, reading to him, exposing him to new things, talking about things… I would not worry that he is unable to respond in a way CM suggested. I think it is about teaching the child where they are at 🙂
My boys both needed pretty intensive speech therapy for them to speak clearly, they could not have come to me with descriptions, like you described, at the age of three. I did not know kids did that at three, haha. I just met them where they were at. Read a lot, played a lot, went for walks…
Don’t worry about trying to fit your little one in a “box” of specific standards. Keep doing what you are doing he is learning and growing so much even if he can not yet express it.Sonya ShaferModerator
I would agree, Morgan. The activities described assume the child has the ability to communicate what he is seeing. We don’t require the child to do something that he cannot do, and it seems like you have a great handle on what your son can and cannot do at this point. Your efforts to model speech and to provide ways and opportunities for him to communicate his thoughts are what is most important right now.
Continue to feed his mind even if he cannot tell you what he thinks about everything.
If you are concerned that you might be putting words into his mouth, or jumping to the wrong conclusion when you “repeat” what he says, perhaps you could offer your sentence as an additional observation rather than a restating of what he supposedly thinks. For example, if he says “oooh,” you could say something like, “That sounds like an owl. I like to hear owls say hoooo.” Or when you ask what color the butterfly is and he mutters, you might say, “That butterfly is yellow. I think yellow is a pretty color.” Just a thought. Not to say that what you are doing is wrong; just another idea because you sound uneasy about what you are doing.
Bottom line, use CM ideas that fit where your child is in his developmental level and skills. With his good receptive skills, you can read good books to him, show him good art, listen to good music, read poetry, work on habits, play outside and inside, and more. And you’re doing a great job trying to help him develop his expressive skills. 🙂Morgan1Participant
Thank each and every one of you sooo very much for your thoughts! I do worry so much that I was going to set him up for failure in making his own mind up on things. I really do appreciate your inputs and reassurance that everything is going good. It makes it easier to do when I know it’s not going to hurt him later on. Thank you all again!
Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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