Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Club

Last month was Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, which lead to quite a discussion. As far as I'm concerned, as long as we discuss the book for more than 10 minutes, it's a hit. We all really enjoyed this one: always a plus.

Next month: We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I finally talked someone into picking this one! I think it's going to be a lively talk. Last time we did one of Lionel's books, I was shocked to learn it's a girl. Who names a girl Lionel? Bizarre. Oh, wait, it's not her given name. See? Learn something new every day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not in the original job description: SN version

As Robert Rummel-Hudson said in a tweet this week, "I resent the people who can't get to sleep because of all the hookers and blow, rather than parenting anxiety. Dicks."

How true that is.

Our wonderful SLP wanted to write a progress report for the school, especially since we have a new school SLP. She wanted me to answer the following questions/requests.
  • What is Nea's average sentence length?
  • What is her intelligibility rate when speaking with people who don't know her? Also, was her intelligibility really 10% a year ago? (Yes.)
  • Provide some sample sentences she has produced recently.

My gut reaction for sentence length was "approaching 5." Did a little analysis during dinner (as parents do, ha ha!), and Mama's intuition was correct. 4.63 words per sentence on average.

Reflecting awhile, I went with 50% intelligibility. With the caveat of "context helps!" which it always does. If you know what the topic is, you will have much greater success of understanding her. I do think we have done a good job of teaching her circumlocution, and she uses other words or gestures to help her audience along.

We have also decided to leave her talker at school permanently. It's heavy, and she reached for it once all summer, when she wanted to discuss Earth as a ball. I have to say, Camp Invention (science camp) seems to have sparked her interest in science. Below are the sample sentences I collected at dinner. The science ones were all in a row.

Me go home morrow way? (I stay home tomorrow)
Me playdate with Bella?
Why Elmo drive? Too little!
Me hold it one more time.*

Why people no feel turn around? (about the earth's rotation)
Wind in space now?
Why people in space on moon?
Why flag in space?
Flag in space right now?

What is life?
What does plant make cotton?
Plant alive in fridge. Die in tummy?

And this is the child they pulled completely out of mainstream class for science and social studies last year. Sure, they wanted to spend more time on literacy and math, but come on! Anyway, she'll be joining the rest of class for those subjects this year. Which just happen to be units on astronomy and biology.

*Note: We are very much working on the "begin sentences with I" thing. Ugh!