Monday, December 10, 2007

Introduction to the sounds

When I first started my speech therapy lessons with my teacher I really wondered what she would teach a 1 yr old child who was soundless and speechless for so long.I was not too sure as to what she planned for me.It was a small group of 3-4 children is various age groups and I honestly doubted her.Little did I realise that it was an introduction to the classes to come.She wanted me to get used to her firm ways and understand her interaction with the children.

She told me about how the child had missed out 1 full year and she had no idea of the things around her.She knows things visually and had no idea of the name of the things.We do things and we think of everything in language.It is the most important part of the human beings.Language development is a very intellectual activity of the brain and all human beings are designed to function with it.It is so important as even to think we need language, to recollect ,to store in a memory we need language and if we don't have language of things around us ,they just seem to happen in front of us and they pass away as the moments go by. We can never describe it to anybody and nobody will understand with out the proper use of language.Also it has a system.we just cannot use words, we need to form grammatically correct sentences for others to understand .So it is important that speech therapy is conducted and it has to be done systematically.
I feel as the child has lost out time , we need to introduce her to the language the moment the hearing aids are put.It is essential the the child should were hearing aids 1st thing in the morning and wear it the entire day and should be removed the last thing at night.The moment the aids are on start to talk about things around you but it also has to be age appropriate.Most audiologist will say talk something interesting or talk lots.The question by most mothers is TALK WHAT?
Well the answer is talk of things around you.I remember talking all the time to my girl of everything around.I would wake her up and say very pleasantly of how the sun was out and it was time to wake up.We would talk about how she slept through the night and then she would freshen up , milk time, potty time and kept nothing in mind but I just used a lot of facial expression and my voice had to have that excitement to excite her to listen to me.I needed to draw her attention and only way of doing it was by talking in a way that would make her interested.We too would listen to a person who talks well with a certain expression and really ignore a person who is just droning off.For the child everything is new and for us it is boring and experienced but once we realise that the child has never felt and seen these things, we can go down to their level and feel the same excitement.Automatically thing will start flowing.We need to excite ourselves and see things from their angle and surely nothing is boring.
Secondly we were introduced to 2 very important words my ma'am.......LISTEN and LOOK. It is so important that the child learns these two words. They help in drawing the child's attention and their reflexes also sharpen up.This a tried and tested experience and I feel I owe a lot of my girl's learning to these 2 words.I would hold her in my arms and show her things.Being close to me I was sure I had her full attention and with my other hand I pointed out at things to associate sound with the,"Baby look"[ pointing out at an object-she would look there immediately] "look there , a cat is climbing the tree"I would let her soak it in."did you see?O look that cat, it climbing up slowly, up up the tree."the whole time trying to enact out the climbing and using a lot expression and using the appropriate intonation depicting excitement.She would love to listen and get so excited.Or"look baby, look at these flowers,so beautiful."Slowly she and i got so good with this that whenever I point anywhere and say look she leaves everything and looks there.If she did not listen to me I would tell her "Listen, I am talking to you"It takes a while but believe me it really works.I will expand on this more in the next post.


  1. Very informative. I think I realise today that language development, as you mention, is about "bombardment" of language at the child. I learnt a foreign language in a similar way-by being bombarded by the language- in the country it is spoken. The brain processes it and out comes the language.
    So as you mention it is very important for a hearing impaired child to be surrounded by language for him to be able to gather it,process it in his/her brain and start speaking it. I know it sounds easier said than done, but hats-off to you on a comendable job. Keep it up.

  2. You should become a therapist, or maybe volunteer to help some other kids in your area. You could really spread the news and help. You know what you are doing! Great job.

  3. You would make a great teacher too !You are so right in your observations about how language is best learned ! As a teacher I have experienced similar success when language is 'contextualised'.
    Children with no prior exposure to a new language seem to pick up language so much better , faster and in a meaningful way when language is spoken in context of everything that they see ,feel touch and are interested in.This makes every situation a language learning moment... and learning is not limited to a single clinical session but an ongoing natural process. Children are naturally inclined to make meaning of all the things around them... the adults never run out of talking about things happening around them and provide rich descriptive language...
    It may be interesting for you to keep records of how many new words your lovely daughter picks up and how often she uses them as part of her own growing vocabulary. Let her see how you write those words ...I feel it woul be very encouraging to see the links in the words that you more often use and if they have any preference in her choice of words and expressions...
    another idea that works for me with young children is asking them to draw what they see, think and feel and help to provide the language to describe what they have drawn.
    In the beginning they may just draw objects but then move to more descriptiive stage and then to even drawing their thoughts and intentions- try it !I have met with considerable success with this approach in developing children's thinking , creativity and ofcourse language.
    Look forward to your sharing -great work !