Today Angel woke up with a mouth full of words. She has been labeling and requesting like crazy all morning. Its amazing how some days she is just in connection with the world around her and some days she lives in her own world and is shut off from the rest of us. I am grateful for the mornings that she looks at me says "i love you" followed by a sweet kiss. This morning was one of those days.
Every day the kids get Play time and Work time. Play time is their own free time, to watch a movie or play with whatever (right now they are watching Elmo's Potty DVD ;) ) Work time, is still play time, but in a constructive way. After breakfast this morning, we did coloring. I couldn't help but smile as she flipped through the color book and labeled pictures.
At school her Occupational Therapist is working on fine motor skills and one of those things is using small objects such as a short pencil or crayon. It is still a goal that we are working at, but she is getting better and better at controlling the crayons with her fingers.
Its so hard being mom. She knows that I know what she wants. So when I make her use words to request what she wants she gets frustrated. The topic of discussion with her speech therapists this year has been the fact that she knows the words, and if its a cognitive issue that she just can't pull it out at the right time. When you engage Angel in play and she is using words in her own time she is often successful and appropriate. But when you request a specific label or word, you can see it in her face that she has to file through her brain to pull out that word. She can sing any word in any song, so we know she is physically able to speak the words, but how much she actually understands is unknown.
She has a few phrases that she has memorized from her Disney and Nick Jr shows: " oh no! what will we do?" "we did it, we did it, hooray!" "Are you okay? It'll be okay, I promise" She uses them at the right times, but are they really considered constructing a sentence or just a memorized phrase that she recognizes when to use it. Angel loves Dora the Explorer, it will capture her complete attention anytime anywhere. Lately she has been saying this: "Swiper no swiping, Swiper no swiping, Swiper nooo swiping. Oh, man. You're too late! You'll never find it now! hahaha" Whats funny is that she will put something in my hand and make me take it away as I'm a Swiper swiping her stuff.
The amount of time it takes her memorize something is another interesting point. Labeling objects is coming about more quickly than it used to, but is still slow. Memorizing words to a new song is magic. After hearing a song just a few times she is able to start singing the words and even humming the melody. She sings all the time, its wonderful to hear, until she is singing loudly in church!! LOL
Several years ago I started sign language, specifically the Signing Smart program. It is the most fantastic program out there. The book is inexpensive, only $15 and it gives you all the tools you need to start signing with your baby. At first Angel was picking up on it and it was becoming an effective way to communicate. But after about 6 months she just stopped signing all together. Now it comes and goes but she hasn't been able to learn any new signs for some time. On the other hand, my 3 year old son has a signing vocabulary over 100. He can learn a new sign in just a few minutes. My hopes is that she will mimic him and start using signs again.
Language is an amazing thing. Oh how I would love to go back to school and become a Language Pathologist! What an interesting world.