R. is having her first real language explosion. This is the first time in her whole life I feel like I can’t quite keep track of all the new things she is saying. Her language is still a far cry from a typical four year old, but for us it is amazing and wonderful.
Mostly she is speaking in 1-2 words requesting (manding) things. She will spontaneously say what she wants, and if we don’t respond right away she will repeat herself over and over again, and then point at the item and give me a determined look. She is doing a lot less hand leading, it is like she realized she can get us to do what she wants with her other methods.
It is so interesting to me, I’ve been working for years now on increasing the exchanges (circles of communication) between R. and I. For so long it was mostly gestures and facial expressions that we were exchanging, I guess I thought that when talking was the main method of communicating, it would decrease the number of circles of communication- because talking is so much more efficient, and R. is not able to really converse yet. But I’m finding that while it is certainly more efficient to have R. talk to me, we are actually closing way more circles of communication during our exchanges. She looks at me to see if I am paying attention when she speaks, she keeps looking back at me to see if I respond.
She is also doing a lot more labeling, she hardly did that at all before. It seems like anytime she sees something she recognizes she labels it and seems so pleased with herself. We were at the playground and some adults were riding bikes just outside the fence. She said bicycle, bicycle clear as could be and ran to follow them.
R. does not seem to have the same problems with over generalizing that she did a few months ago. I think the behaviorist was correct to say that increasing R.’s receptive language would help her generalizing abilities. Sometimes she comes up with the wrong word for something, but it is different, I can usually get her to say the right word with repetition. But I do have to figure out what she means first. She was asking for peacock, so I showed her pictures. Later, I gave her some peas to eat (she likes to eat them frozen out of the bag) and she got all excited saying peacock peacock. I only had to model the word pea a few times until she started asking for pea instead of peacock. I also don’t think she exactly understand what it means when someone says ow. She bopped me on the head with a toy, and then rubbed my head and said ow R.