Measuring Life and Using More Complex Sentences (Part 2)

2 thoughts on “Measuring Life and Using More Complex Sentences (Part 2)”

  1. Thanks for the shout out Mark!

    I also find myself wondering if this phase of prime talking is extended for those with developmental delays (I am by no means an expert in this topic). But if it takes a certain amount of time for the foundation of cognitive structures to form within a neurotypical brain, and our children are developing these same structures, but more slowly does it not reason that some of these developmental windows would be open for far longer?

    One of my first educational mentors was a bit famous for working with intellectually impaired students because she was so successful with them in both reading and math. And she was asked for her techniques and secrets often, but her response was always “There is no secret. I teach them the same way I teach all the other students” (she was great with them too!) “It just takes more repetition and more time.” A neurotypical brain has to be exposed to an idea 8-10 times before it can take a foothold (and even more if they have to unlearn a misconception). She insisted it was just upwards in the 30s range for a lot of these students, but most teachers would give up long before you got to that point – thinking they were incapable of learning the concept.

    I don’t know if talking more will help significantly, but I also know that it’s not going to do any harm at all. I know that Cyrus likes it when I talk to him, I have no idea how much he understands, but sometimes he’ll surprise me and I think it’s more than I was giving him credit for. He likes it even more when I sing to him. So if smothering him with attention at times, MIGHT help him to cognitively develop even just a little more than he would, why not? It also makes him smile! So double win!

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    1. Mark, I find the subject of “language dancing” to be fascinating. As a “stay at home mom” in the 80’s & 90’s and a lifetime, “motormouth”, I take great pleasure in thinking that I may have participated and or facilitated my children’s “incalculable cognitive advantage”. As a former school nurse, I am pleased to remember that the special needs children in my care were addressed and treated in the same manner as all the other student patients I treated. That said, when reading your and Ms. Brown’s remarks my brain was flooded with the memories of my life long interest in HELEN KELLER and her, devoted “Teacher”, Anne Sullivan! Miss Sullivan’s commitment to teaching Helen as a normal child, in her unorthodox, one-on-one style not only challenged and changed Helen’s world, but our own as well. Mark, you will never know just how many times I have thought, prayed and hoped, for Willa to have that “awakening” experience that Helen had that day at the water pump. Surely, such a profound experience had at it’s foundation unwavering commitment, intense devotion and personal sacrifice, and of course, language dancing.

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