Monday, May 16, 2011

On Language Holes


Nolan has excellent language. He's probably ahead of his age level in general language skill level, and his vocabulary is at a pretty high level. Sometimes, though, his "swiss cheese language" shows: he will not know a common word, even when he knows many others. Here is a list of words - guess which ones Nolan doesn't know?

Equivalent
Swing
Parallel
Broom
Boot
Fence
Gate
Interesting
Amazing
Motorcycle
Belt
Watch

There are some pretty high level vocabulary words on the list - ones that you wouldn't expect a typical three year old to understand. There are also some basic nouns on the list, that any three (almost four) year old would know. Here is the list again, with the words Nolan doesn't know highlighted in red:

Equivalent
Swing
Parallel
Broom
Boot
Fence
Gate
Interesting
Amazing
Motorcycle
Belt
Watch

Yep - the kid knows words like "equivalent," but has no idea what a broom is called. In fact, when he saw our broom the other day, he called it a Cleaning Thing. He later modified it to a Cleaning Stick, until we supplied the correct word and we worked on it for a while. He also had no idea what a mop was called (The Other Cleaning Thing). We caught this particular language hole during a speech session, when we saw a witch riding on a Cleaning Thing broom.

Typically hearing children will know the name for an object long before they can describe its function. Kids who miss incidental learning, however, will sometimes miss out on the basic vocabulary. He picks up some things, and misses others - in a completely unpredictable pattern. We always keep an eye out for language holes so we can address them, but they are hard to find until you run across some every-day object that Nolan calls a "thing."

I find it ironic that he has an SAT level vocabulary (which might lead some to think - "why is this kid getting language services?") but is missing some basic words.

In other news, we're still waiting on the sleep study results. The pediatrician has them, but won't let me see them - I have to wait until the 23rd to talk with the ENT. This leads me to believe he has failed the test, since the pediatrician's office will generally call with a delighted, "Don't worry, Mommy - the results are good!" when he passes something. Oh, well - only a week more until we know if we're in for a whole new spate of surgeries and procedures.

5 comments:

rouchi said...

Well, for me he is really great.For a 3 year old he is good.Isn't it difficult to see our kids struggling with words.They seem to forget them if not used often.Just this evening we were doing the words which her speech therapist had given to make sentences, and she forgot most of them.Some she knew but could not describe.I wish they could just remember all of them.Hate to see them struggling for words sometimes.

leah said...

He is really great! His language is so amazing - I was just trying to point out how bizarre some of the effects of hearing loss can be. He has amazing, difficult words in his vocabulary, but is missing some basic ones.

Prisha is working so hard - I hope she can remember the new words!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Leah,

It IS weird, about the randomness of those language holes. But the great thing is his intelligence and determination. He'll get there, with all the great help from home :D

Hoping for good news from the sleep study,

Julie

Ericka said...

Thats funny because Miles called the microwave a rectangle the other day, I thought it was strange.

Terena said...

it's so good you're catching those holes early. Queen Teen also has an advanced vocabulary like Nolan, and has many of the same holes. It's interesting what they pick up on and understand compared to what they miss. Why is that? Now that she's in high school, it gets trickier.