Say What?

I haven’t mentioned it before, but Alex has started “Small Talk.”  Small Talk is a preschool speech and language program in our community.  On one hand we were unsure if we really needed to go since Alex’s comprehension is fabulous and he will speak when he’s ready, but we also didn’t want him to get behind.  There are many kids we know that are months younger than Alex and are speaking so much better (I compare way too much!) We were also getting frustrated with Alex being frustrated at not always being understood.  A lot of people would say to us that it’s understandable that he’s delayed since during his first 9 months of life he only heard Korean.  But when I compare his speech development to that of many of your adopted boys (and girls) – told you I compare – I know that isn’t necessarily a good enough reason for the delay.  Sure the first year – but Alex has been with us for 27 months.

We have gone to Small Talk twice now and I’m quite amazed at the results so far!  During the sessions, our worker plays with Alex and prompts him to speak through play.  I tell ya, he was saying words I had NEVER heard him say before – even the simple word of “eat!” We were prompted to provide more options to questions – such as “Do you want apple or banana for snack?”  I know – sounds very standard, but it’s not something we were always doing.  We are also to try to integrate play with the questions.  Our speech pathologist promoted the idea of using bubbles and have Alex say whether he wanted the bubbles to go “up or down” to help with directional words.   Now we are working adding more verbs to the conversation.  We will be working on building on Alex’s small sentences such as “me bike” to “me bike fast” – not that is a proper sentence, but it’s a start.  He is now actually repeating what we say when asked, is trying his numbers and colours more and really trying to string words together.  

Julie, our speech pathologist is a great match with us because she has adopted a little boy from Russia! Her son came home a few months before Alex, so she has done the research already on international adoption and speech delays. 

So I’m thinking Small Talk is working very well for us.  It’s either that or it’s Dora and Diego – Alex’s latest obsession.  It would really explain the use of the word “backpack!”

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15 responses

  1. I know, we shouldn’t compare but it’s hard not to sometimes! I think you’re right that Alex would start talking on his own in his own time, but if there are great resources out there, why not take advantage of them? Sounds like you stumbled upon a really good speech therapist – yay! And the fact that she’s also an adoptive mama with a kiddo from another country? What a perfect fit.

  2. That is awesome that your speech path is an adoptive mom too! It is natural to compare and you know Alex best – be proactive when you feel the need. Looks how well he’s doing already!!

  3. I compare all the time too!! (As we both know) It’s great that you have such a fabulous resource there to utilize! And who knows, this could be the push Alex needed… 🙂

  4. Please, I compare all day long sister! Well, you know we did this with Colin and honestly, all he needed was a little “push”. Now we cannot get him to stop talking! As our doctor said to us, speech therapy will never hurt him.

  5. It sounds like a fantastic program, and how great that your teacher understands where you’re coming from on the adoption front. And while it’s definitely best not to compare, that is MUCH easier said than done! 🙂

  6. I’m so glad the program is working for you guys — my husband finished a similar program (It Takes Two to Talk) but Leah only made very minimal gains. We’re hoping the next speech assessment will allow Leah to enter some more focused speech classes.
    And I hear you on the comparisons: it’s been very difficult to have two kids at opposite ends of the spectrum so that everyone compares Leah to her big brother.

  7. I’m glad you’re doing a little something to help Alex talk, for really the reason you mentioned…lowering his frustration. I compare all the time too, but it seems when it comes to talking kids are really all across the board.
    We are huge Diego fans here 🙂

  8. That is great! It can never hurt to get some help, and it seems like it is working already. I’m the same way when it comes to comparing. I know I shouldn’t (because every child is different blablabla) but I do it anyway.

  9. oh wow! that is awesome that you can already see a progress in just two visits! my niece who was adopted from russia was hard to understand at 2. my sister had to do some of these same things with her. she is 6 now and speaks perfectly.

  10. Yay for fast progress!! It’s wonderful to have such great resources available if only to jumpstart language that was likely just slow in coming. I’m sure that once Alex discovers how wonderful it is to have so many words (and your reaction to the words!), you’ll see growth by leaps and bounds.

  11. Sounds like you’ve received some great things to try/work on already for language development and stimulation. So hard not to compare…I do it all the time. D talks a lot, but his pronunciation…tough to get, but I know it is normal. We understand him the majority of the time (me more than my DH), but slowly it gets better.

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