Monday, September 26, 2011

Keep the conversation going.

We've spent the last two years teaching Ava to learn to listen and speak. She can talk about her feelings. She can listen to a story and is starting to understand and answer "why" questions. She can recall events that happened at school. She is beginning to understand the concept of yesterday, today and tomorrow. These are all prerequisites to having a conversation. You know, the back and forth talking between two people. Typically with a toddler, it can be difficult to have a real conversation where you and your child can go back and forth about one topic for more than a sentence or two. Up until now, many questions would require a simple yes or no or one word response. "Do you want milk or juice?" "Where's daddy?" "Did you have fun at school?" etc etc. Now, it is time to expand this to include why questions and to keep the conversation going for more than a sentence or two. I found it difficult at times with Ava as she would lose interest sometimes. However, Ava LOVES to play pretend games where she would get out her dollhouse figurines and will designate me to be the "mommy " and she would be the "daddy" or "sister" or whatever character she chooses. I found that when we engaged in this type of play, Ava could go on and on back and forth with conversation between these two pretend characters. To keep her interested, we made paper bag puppets together and then we would engage in our "conversations".....hi dog. hi cat. do you want to play with me? ok, what should we play? ummmm let's play chase. Great idea. ok i go first and you chase me. ok? ok, let's go. I'm tired now. Why are you tired? too much running. I'm hungry. What would you like? I want some crackers. Do you want crackers too? ok......

In addition to her 3 morning/week preschool, Ava has ballet classes on Saturday mornings and a preschool program run by the City on Monday afternoons. She sees her TOD weekly.

As for her TOD visits, we started doing the letter sounds and printing! So exciting! Last week we started with the letter "S". We learned a song about the "s" sound and pointing out words that start with the "s" sound. We practice printing the "s" everyday. Ava is also using a calendar everyday to learn the days of the week as well as the weather. We also go to the library every two weeks to sign out a ton of books. The books she enjoys now are getting more and more complex and advanced. We are so pleased by this. The work never ends. But she will be well prepared for junior kindergarten next year. I've been told for our deaf kiddos, it is beneficial to try to get them ahead, especially with vocabulary and language comprehension, so that their transition to mainstream school will be seamless.