We should have started with Japanese

First of all, baby news!!!

A baby girl was born yesterday morning in Missouri, weighing 6 lbs. 8 oz., 19.5 inches long, with lots of hair! I think she looks like the Captain. Welcome to the world, baby Berry (her blog name, not her real name)!

Pictures when I can get them.

Okay, on to the main point of the post…

Apparently, we should have started Tad on Japanese instead of English. I’ll explain.

We had a GREAT session with Kay yesterday afternoon. Ane was spending the afternoon with Grandma, which made a big difference for all of us. Even Kay commented that it was much more “productive” with her not around. Tad had gotten his nap in and was chatty and amiable, which is always good.

Kay made an interesting observation – she says that Tad has “immature oral motor skills,” which means that he lacks the ability to manipulate his mouth to make certain sounds. She also wasn’t terribly surprised by his desire to mouth objects (including dirt and rocks and bark), saying that it could be an indicator of him trying to use his mouth muscles to “stimulate his palate.” Our goal for this week: work on hard consonants. So, combine lack of oral motor skills with a laid-back personality and an overbearing sister and you get… Tad. Maybe. We’re going to meet with an occupational therapist in May to determine if there are any other loose threads we need to address before Tad moves on into the school district system.

Tad was very willing to play with Kay – she brought Play-Doh, which is always good. She made the observation that he does have unusual skills for a child as non-verbal as he is – I was showing her how he has memorized certain books. The kid has a very good memory, and hopefully that ability to learn through repetition (as he has with books and songs) will aid him in really learning how to talk.

And he actually asked for help at one point – which he has NEVER done before. I was so glad that he did it in front of Kay. He’d gotten Play-Doh crusted all over his hands and started sucking on his fingers (eww). I remarked that we needed to wash his hands. Tad promptly popped up and ran to get the stepstool in the kitchen and tried to shove it toward the sink. It got caught on the rug, and he couldn’t push it forward. “Do you need some help?” I asked him as Kay and I moved toward him.

He looked at us. “Elp,” he said. We cheered, and I got the stepstool in place so we could wash his hands.

With the focus this week being on hard consonant sounds, I told Kay that I knew I was right – if we had started Tad on Japanese, which works in syllables, where there is only one way to pronounce the vowels (no short and long sounds) and where the only “letter” that is not immediately followed by a vowel is “n”, he’d probably be able to talk by now. I was only half-joking, but there is an element of truth in it. Even Kay agreed that English is not an easy language to “get.”

So, we’re going to work on the hard consonants, but if all else fails, we’ll just move to Japan and then he’ll be fine. 😉

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