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!”