Speech and Language Therapist – 2nd visit for Christina:
We went yesterday for the second time to the speech and language therapist, at the Paidi Institute in Bangkok. The session went well with no cries, but little progress in her speech. I guess it is too soon to see the results all parents would expect.
During the session Christina repeated the 3 Thai words she used at the previous session, which are ไป (go), ขอ (ask for) and เอา (get/have).
She also sang the English alphabet song multiple time on her own and said two English words “Star” and “Circle”. She hasn’t said any other word despite the efforts of the speech and language therapist to have her talk.
As she refuses to repeat after my wife and I when we attempt to teach her words face to face, her vocabulary is very limited. I have to point out that she is a trilingual child (French English and Thai)who might be somewhere on the autism spectrum.
When I try to teach her French words, she would put her palm on my mouth, or two fingers in my mouth, to shut me off… She speaks when she wants to on her own and doesn’t want to be taught. It is why we sought the help of a speech and language therapist.
If I had to summarize what she can say now at 34 months it would be:
– Thai: ไป (go), ขอ (ask for) and เอา (get/have) >> Input from Mother, Grandmother & Grandfather, and environment. >> Ipad: Songs
– French: Oui oui, 1 to 10, alphabet (partially) >> Input from Father >> Ipad/Com/TV: French cartoons and songs, Ipad applications
– English: Star, Circle, 1 to 10, alphabet (near perfection) >> Input from Mother & Father in study situations (books, boards…) >> Ipad/Com: English educational songs and Ipad applications
I am not really sure at that point if she has autism or only speech delays. Doctors said that she has some signs of autism like avoiding social contacts, liking to be alone and delay in her speech. When I see videos on Youtube of children with autism, it is really different. These children bang their heads, sit very passively with no emotions, do not make eye contact, flap their arms, tiptoe and do not play with toys the way they are supposed to…
That is different with Christina, she is a joyful little girl who is very shy and refuses to speak! Is that possible she is just like me or my wife, 2 parents that are not very talkative and prefer to do alone activities instead of joining the crowd? We just hope the speech and language therapist will make her improve.
Language Delay – Speech and Language Therapist
I found this interesting resource for parents with children who have speech or language delays. I didn’t even know there were a difference between speech delay and language delay. The speech and language therapist might have explained it, but I don’t recall.
Language delay is a failure in children to develop language abilities on the usual developmental timetable. Language delay is distinct from speech delay, in which the speech mechanism itself is the focus of delay. Thus, language delay refers specifically to a delay in the development of the underlying knowledge of language, rather than its implementation.
The difference between language and speech can be understood by considering the relationship between a computer program and an output device like a printer. The software running on the computer (a word processing program, for example) is designed to allow a user to create content that is stored in the computer.
In order to actually create a physical copy of the file, the computer requires another device: a printer. The printer takes the file and transforms it into a series of commands which control the movement of a print head, thereby making marks on paper.
This two-stage process is something like the distinction between language (computer program) and speech (printer). When we want to communicate something, the first stage is to encode the message into a set of words and sentence structures that convey our meaning.
These processes are collectively what we refer to as language. In the second stage, language is translated into motor commands that control the articulators, thereby creating speech. Speech refers to the actual process of making sounds, using such organs and structures as the lungs, vocal cords, mouth, tongue, teeth, etc.