Thursday, March 05, 2009

EI Update and a Quote Come to Life

The Early Intervention crew returned Tuesday. Really, it was a crew this time: three people. Dr. Jill; her cohort Marion, the speech pathologist, who was sick last time; and Judy, who will be our very own very special specialist.

Anna was quieter this time, with three of them here, but did sit right down and play and read with Judy while Marion observed and Jill talked with us and reviewed her evaluation from last time. Anna again demonstrated that her receptive language is more than fine by tuning in to one conversation between adults while playing with Judy. We were telling Jill how Anna likes to help with the dishes and Anna got up and headed for the kitchen. Let's do some dishes!

One part of the evaluation summary shows what percentage of items she should be able to do by age three she can do right now in six categories. Social communication, which encompasses speech, is only at 47 percent (although that's really not terribly low). But gross motor skills: 95 percent. (That's our Tigger!) Fine motor, 92; social 84. So she's really doing great in most areas. It may be that she's so busy learning in these other areas that she just hasn't really focused on putting together the speech piece yet.

The plan is for Judy to come twice a month for about 45 minutes of learning play with Anna (and, I'm sure, teaching me how to teach her). The goal is to get Anna to use fifty words and two-word phrases regularly, and within that they look for the use of different kinds of phrases using different parts of speech, like "Anna drink," "hot water," "go out." Some of them I think she's close to starting but others, not at all. But I think we all think she'll catch up quickly. Jill said she warned the others she thought Anna might have learned more words since last time already because she does seem like she could have that "language explosion" at any time.

And sure enough, right before they arrived that morning she told Aaron "football hat" (his Lions hat). That goes along with her new fluency in two-word phrases, not just copying but saying on her own all variations of hi/bye+Mama/Dada/Baby/Kitty/Woof (dog). She loves saying these phrases now and runs around shouting "Hi kittyyyyy! Hi kittyyyyy! Byeeeeee!" (as the cat flees the area). It's amazing to see her transform from baby to communicating person.

It's all just like they said on Scrubs:
Turk: Why do you want to have a baby so bad anyway?

Carla: Dr. Cox says having a baby is like having a dog that slowly learns to talk.

Turk: Awesome . . .


paige said...


She will have such fun during therapy, and really the language explosion will be just that. Elliott had 12 words at 23 months, 27 words at 25 months, and 350 words by 27 months. You will be delighted at every turn!

Ren said...

Well, that settles it. Anna's just a genius trapped in that little body, too smart for words and other such nonsense.

Seriously, she too will have her explosion and then, watch out! You'll wonder where those "quiet" days went!

Have fun with your little smarty pants!

Donna said...

Hi, I wonder if you might email me. I have a daughter about Anna's age and in a similar place with language. I was wondering if you might be able to share some tips that the EI folks have given you on encouraging language development. She's only been home for five months and she's very timid around strangers, so I'm hoping to work with her myself since she clams up around the EI folk. But, I really could use some advice on activities, etc.

RMMcDowell said...

Just so you know, once they start they don't stop.