Ask him 14 more times, he’s very intelligent really.

My son has the cognitive understanding of a baby. I’ll try again. My son has the cognitive understanding of a younger baby than the baby age which he actually is. You’ll agree, that sentence isnt as emotive.

Our language specialist tells us he is currently on par with a sighted child at the age of about 8 or 9 months. Not so bad you may think, as that is approx a 5 month delay. I havent been worried, seeing as if I had a 5 month delay, I’d be acting like I just turned 24 last week, and I doubt I’d be exhibiting such seriously immature behaviour thatr it would be noticable in any area of my life.

To an adult, 5 months is nothing. To a 14 month old, it counts for a serious portion of life. I once told a 4 year old that I was 20, and they laughed. No verbal response, just such incredulity that anyone could actually be that old, that it triggered an uncontrollable outpouring of mirth. If you think of 5 months in terms of percentage of life, you can understand where the concern stems from. If I was acting like a 16 year old, people may be legitimately worried that I wouldnt be capable enough to deal with the whole marriage/baby/career thing. (Although, I think I may have been one of the few 16 year olds who was actually ready.) In the last 5 months, or third of his life, comprehension wise, I am told my son has somehow missed out on key stages of langauage development, and that this is certainly not something to take lightly.

  • Does he say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’? Nope.
  • Does he come when beckoned verbally? No.
  • Pass you items you ask for? Nuh uh.
  • Follow any non signed instructions? Er.. No.
  • Show you items with a famillar sound? Never.
  • Make up his own words for things? Not that I’ve noticed.
  • Turn when you call his name? YES.. er.. I mean, yes.. yes, he does that one.

And so the exercises begin. Over the past two weeks, I have changed my attitude, simplified my language, and asked my son the following questions approx 17,000 times. The first day, I didnt get much of a reaction. Judging it by today, I have noticed a marked improvement. We may still have a while to go.

1. Where is Ima’s nose?
Day 1: Blank stare.
Day 14: -Excitedly reaches out towards my face and points out my mouth-

2. For Ima? (while he is holding an object)
Day 1: Blank stare.
Day 14: He gives me the object, and then tries to eat it anyway.

3. Can you see your car?
Day 1: Blank stare.
Day 14: -Looks around, passes me his cup- (Cccccup.. gettit? I’m excited, dont burst my bubble.)

4. More food? Or no more food?
Day 1: Blank stare.
Day 14: Shakes his head merrily.. (But I’m not sure it means no more food.. it has also been correctly interpreted as “May I have a drink?” and “Would it trouble you terribly if we used a different spoon?”

In addition to those, he sits down when I say sit down, he finally gets upset when I tell him no, and I think he’s starting to understand the ‘point’ of pointing.

I’m happy. It may not be much in terms of conversational skills, but it is so much more than we had a month ago. We feel like we are finally communicating with him in a real way. Even the little that he understands gives him a new and exciting ability to interact, and another little baby sized step towards independence.

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2 Comments

  1. Rivkah Abrahams

     /  December 20, 2011

    Hullo you!

    I just wanted to say that I have been following your blog for a while and felt decidedly creepy about the fact that I was enjoying your fantastic posts without you knowing- so firstly wanted to say i love your posts- i can hear you through them and it makes me giggle, secondly your little boy is a sweetheart and I hope he makes leaps in development- at the end of the day, the professionals have their opinions but they are mere vehicles..only a certain Someone decides how things play out and I hope you merit to always see His hand in the raising of your sweet boy. It is so so lovely to see Orot girls starting to raise their own kids and I really enjoy reading about your experiences-

    Thinking of you,
    Lots of love and
    חנוכה שמח!
    Rivkah

    Reply
    • Hello! How did you find it?! I miss you! Thank you so much for the comment, I really appreciate the support in every way.. 🙂 love and hugs xx

      Reply

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