asynchronous language development, slow but surprising

Marie - posted on 10/04/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I was amazed today, looking through my notes of the past year, at the verbal explosions from my 47 month old girl. She is gifted in her logic, visual/spatial and memory - but has always struggled with her language production. It wasn't that she didn't know the words - they were just hard for her pronounce and she is a perfectionist type that gets frustrated easily. I was reading back to even 7 months ago and the sentences I was recording back then were simple - 'You go mumum..' etc... It had taken her forever just to call me mumum, she found 'daddy' easier to say up until somewhere near three - and then finally made the switchover. She was still saying the easier of whatever words she could, and lumping whatever she could into combinations of hand signs and implied meaning.



And there was no denying she was smart - eerily so, at times. She would tell me all the sounds of every letter and names of colors that were easy for her to say, but refuse to say almost any other word she found difficult. Her hearing was fine, but some sounds like 'm', 'b', 'p' and 'l' were just not coming at all, and she wouldn't mispronounce many words willingly.



Now, she is talking (in words!) to me about why ghosts don't have teeth but can still eat her and what their mommies and daddies do to take care of them since they have no teeth etc etc... She tells me what doctors do and what farmers do and asks how poison ivy plants can bite and on and on and on.... I can finally hear everything going on in that brain and I am even more certain that she is gifted when I was only fairly certain before.



These last six months have just been a whirlwind of new sounds, words, full songs along with a tenfold increase in (visible/audible) social and imaginary play. I am shaking my head happily that this issue has worked itself out. There were times I was seriously worried I would have to find speech therapy or autism spectrum testing for her. I wonder if other parents of obviously smart children have had issues with their speech?

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Aramanth - posted on 10/07/2011

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Amazing when that happens, isn't it?

My older daughter was also a perfectionist (still is) and just refused to speak as a toddler. Her hearing was fine and she obviously understood spoken language well (could follow quite complicated instructions) but just WOULD NOT speak! Like you I seriously considered speech therapy for her but it turned out not to be needed. Around age 3 she had a language explosion and went from one or two words at a time to complex paragraphs. It was incredible to see (and hear).

Now she is 16 and in her last year of High School (yes, she skipped a year and probably could have skipped two and still done well). She is just as much a perfectionist in her work and spends hours constructing her written work to be the best she can produce. At one point it was interfering with her test results as she would spend so much time on her first answers getting them absolutely perfect that she would run out of time before she was half-way through. Fortunately she has improved on that score and now her test results reflect the sharp mind she has.

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Marie - posted on 03/28/2012

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I will add that we did find speech therapy for our daughter. Three months after her fourth birthday we had her tested by the school district and they recommended a one day a week preschool that specializes in speech difficulties. She has went there once a week for two months now and I can already see the difference in more complete sentences, more 'normal' conversation and some social lessons I had not even known she needed help with.

Lauren - posted on 03/27/2012

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I love this and thank you for posting this...you read my heart regarding my son....I'm gonna start writing down sentences too and look back at the progress!

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