Friday, February 29, 2008


Today was an interesting lesson with Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar.It was about homes of living things.It is surprising how in school , year after year people just learn mugged up answers and a bit of a specific question is asked and the child goes out of gear.Ma'am asked " where do the fish live". A normal answer went like..Pond.She said it was wrong .I too looked a bit puzzled.After a lot of cross questioning a very simple answer"water"came up.She went on to all types of water that we find fish in -sea, pond, lakes, river, aquarium, fish bowl.....where ever there is water .Normally we do this matching, rabbit-burrow. etc.We need to lead the child to the correct answer.She told us about the birds living in nests, the types of nest.She even had a nest of a tailor bird saved from her garden and she demonstrated how the tailor bird came and made it.The kids were fasicnated.I love the way speaks as it is exciting the way builds the whole experience into a movie only through language and the things she has around her.She is an artist no doubt about it.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Oh my god , what a nice break we got last weekend.It was my b'day and I had a friend drop by with family.We packed ourselves for a weekend at the beaches of Alibaug near Mumbai.Prisha is now 4 yrs and I was keen to give myself a break as well have a speech therapy lesson with a difference.Few days back she had seen the sea and the fishes swimming on TV and she had drawn a lovely picture and made it really colorful.I then gave her play dough to make the fish swimming in 3D and there the artist that she is she loved to oblige.So the day at the beach was the ideal thing to show her.
My sister joined us at the jetty and I showed her the boats and how the people came the boats of all shapes, the waves, the sea gulls,etc.Next day we were at the beach and as she does not like to get into water we gave her the sand set and there she was having her bit of fun.We talked about the sea and I made her recall her painting that she made and that there were fish under the water swimming just the way she drew.She seemed to just take in all the information and look at the vastness of the water body.I showed her a dead fish and the waves and lots of shells.She was fascinated with the shapes of the shells and the way the snails moved.I decided to give myself a break and we played around the water.We ran with my down syndrome niece and just enjoyed.
The speech therapist in me got a little annoyed after a while and while others played cricket I got down to Prisha and we had another speech therapy lesson.We discussed the beach again and made castles in the sand and then I started something she loves.........drawing on the sand!There we had endless patch of drawing sheet and she wrote her name , mummy, she drew things she wanted to.She drew ice cream, goggles and flowers.etc and we talked so much about it.IT WAS SUCH FUN!It was a good change from the run of the mill talk we normally have.I got the recordings and took lots of pictures. will use them to recall the experience on the beach.Hope to repeat it again.
One very funny thing she did.My son was "ugh mom grouse ".But we laughed till our tommy ached as coming from my hearing impaired child it was funny.The way she applied her brains to get us to laugh.Well we were driving back home when she wanted to use the loo.As there was no loo around and were 15 minutes from home my hubby told her to hold on.To get my son to irritate she started to say" Rishabh I will do susu{loo in hindi language} on your face, I'll do susu on the car ...yellow color,etc" we just burst out laughing ...of course I told her to stop after that but I just loved her use of language to crack a joke.Her laughter still rings in my ears.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some language lessons

Today Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar had focused on the use of proper words and sentences in the speech therapy classes.It was surprising how many mistakes we make in our daily life .
Like the use of shapes.Shape is an adjective.It does not occur by itself.Something has to be square/rectangle etc.By itself there is no just triangle.IN school the teacher uses the sentence...color the triangles.Instead we need to say...." color the shape triangle".The child would other wise use the shape as a noun.Eg. in the class when the child was asked, pointed at a oval shaped petal, as to what it was , she replied .."it is oval".The correct answer would be.."this is oval shaped petal".
The activity that we were told to do was to ask the child the following ques.
"look for things that are round in this room."
The result is the hearing impaired child brushes up her nouns and the shapes as well.I came to know that Prisha had forgotten or did not know so many things in the home that were round and that they had a name.We take it for granted that the hearing impaired child would learn.She will learn only when we bring it to her notice and keep revising it. The same goes with color and numbers.These 2 are also adjectives.The hearing child would with time self correct.With a hearing impaired child we need to correct it for her.Colour does not exsist by itself.Something has to blue and red etc.Always say show me red colour things around.Say red crayon or blue umbrella etc.
I am surprised till now how we took all this for granted.I feel I too am learning my english language classes with all new meaning to it.As a child it was just another subject and lesson, now thanks to my hearing impaired daughter and Mrs. Hudlikar , english speech therapy classes are having more enjoyment and deeper understanding.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Use of new words

I have noticed with my hearing impaired daughter, once the child learns a bit of language and understands the spoken language , we tend to start to rest and take life a bit easy.We use the limited words and sentences the child understands and are afraid to use new words.The child is capable of picking up at least 10 new words every day if we make that attempt.If not 10 at least 5 new words would make a huge differance in her.To make our life easy we tend to not use new words.It is a task to explain new words and use in context with a hearing impairedchild.Meaning ,articulation,breaking the word,using it in a age appropriate sentance is required to make her understand.She has to be corrected.All this makes a parent of the hearing impaired child's parent postpone or refrain from using new words.A speech therapist can give you guidelines but can not give daily feed of the language to the child.
In mrs. Alaka Hudlikar's class I noticed it.She pointed to a bowl of fruit and then to few slices of the fruit.When asked to older children about what they were, none could answer.The word "slices" was not known to them as the parents never used it in their day to day life.I for that matter to would pass it off as pieces of fruit as Prisha understands pieces well.We tend to use wrong or rather inappropriate words.I ,for eg, use "get up" for" wakeup"or "dropped water "for "spilling water".All these are small egs and we need to just get conscious.Once we are we would at least make that effort to use new words.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The need to be heard

Today at Mrs.Alaka Hudlikar's home a lady had come with her 22 yr old son who was hearing impaired.The mom looked hopeful towards maa'am's classes.When ma'am asked the young man a few things ,he seemed to have good command over language.Looked like the mom had not got into wrong therapy ,as mostly most moms at ma'am's classes I have seen have gone through wrong therapy, she did a decent job with language development and dealt well with his deafness.Problem was his dependance on lip movements of the speaker and clarity of speech.The mom said he was too conscious of his voice.Lets see how ma'am deals with an adult.
Also today a mom complained that a new battery pack of hearing aids had 2 dead cells and one was bigger than the normal size.Was the hearing aid cells packet not supposed to be sealed?Is someone cheating the already troubled parents or is it the carelessness of the hearing aid centre.I would advise parents to check the seals of the packet along with the date of manufacture and expiry.I asked the mom to immediately return the packet to the hearind aid centre.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Speech practice

Last lecture was very interesting in Mrs. Alaka Hudlikar's class.Two very important things were taught.I need to do it everyday.
1.Echo Stage of child to be followed.It means that the child just repeats ANYTHING he hears.A normal baby too does this, without understanding a thing he just speaks back what he hears.This is called ECHO.For a hearing impaired child this should be done from the very beginning.The moment the hearing aids are on ,ask him to just only through listening repeat what he hears.Even if the sentance or the chatter does not make sense or it is any gibberish like....alu billu tillu, cow was jumping on the moon or bang bang here goes the gong.It is fun exercise for them and the child learns to just depend on hearing and speech practice is done.I love doing it with Prisha as we go around doing things.It is funny and my AVT practice is done!
2.To take a step forward in this is to sit the child next to you so that he does not look at you and only LISTENS.He should not lip read.Then read an age appropriate story book, breaking the sentences as required and asking him to repeat what he hears.Follow the sentance with your finger and let the child follow it.It helps the child to inculcate reading habit and another speech and listening skill lesson is done.