The below is a real life experience that happened in April 2012.
Samantha came to the centre on April 2012. She has limited vocabulary and communication processing. She communicates in Mandarin. Thank God I can understand Mandarin, otherwise it will be tough for me to know Samantha’s development.
She comes in for the holistic programme which include Rebound Therapy, Communication Processing, Cognitive Development.
A very basic language I give to Samantha is to say I want”, to my surprise Samantha can’t copy the speech. I repeated few time she still can’t copy the speech. I told her mother it can’t be. Even a not-chinese speaking person will copy the speech. Then I told Samantha’s mother to ask Ruth (not a chinese speaker) to follow her say “I want” in Mandarin”. Ruth is able to say it, though she may not understand the meaning. But how come Samantha can’t copy the speech?
After discussion with her mother, we decide to let Samantha learn the language in a relaxed free flow with more interactive in real life. It works amazing well: she is able to say “I want”. Many times; we adulst set up a mock up learning situation for the child to learn speech and the child doesn’t follow. Will this mean the child does not develop speech? My personal view speech is to be in a real life situation in order for a child to learn in concrete manner.
I could recall in an afternoon, I invite Samantha to have lunch, she said “I don’t want”. So that day I provide lunch a bit late for her while her other peers are eating. She will look at her mother. I told her that just now she say “she don’t want”. Then she look at me, I give her a smile in return. Thru this real life engaging in speech, Samantha has learned what “I want” and ” I don’t want” mean. She also aware on how to use both “I want ” and “I don’t want” in a correct situation.