Tag Archives: Evoking Speech


Noah hasn’t been interested in saying Daddy.  Papa, yes; Daddy, no.

Andrew prefers to be called Papa, so all our babies learn Papa first, but they quickly move on to Daddy when they hear the rest of the world calling their fathers Daddy.  So, like it or not, Andrew is Daddy.  Except to Noah.  Even when I use Noah’s Kaufmann flashcards for Daddy and I hold up the card and say “Daddy,” Noah says “Papa.” 

It always gives me a secret thrill, because it lets me know that he knows that Papa and Daddy are the same thing and he’s not confused by a little ole switcharoo of the nicknames,  and he’ll call his favorite male parental unit what he pleases, thank you very much.

But a change is in the air.  I’ve noticed in the past week Noah has been experimenting with some different sounds, including a little number that sounds suspiciously like Daddy.

Tonight’s escapades at the pool confirms it.  I was holding Noah by the hands and he was splashing in the water, kicking up a storm with his feet behind him, and he started turning his head around and yelling, “Da-deeeeee” looking for Andrew.   No mistake about it, he was calling for his Daddy to see how fabulous and brave he was in the water.  Once he finally got it out, he said it over and over and over again, laughing, so completely thrilled to finally be able to get that sound combination out.  I think all this time he has lacked the confidence and ability to say Daddy, so he automatically defaults to Papa.  He was so happy, I imagine, to join the ranks of all the other children he hears call out to their father the name, “Daddy.” 

Another small victory —  no, in Noah’s world there are no small victories – another BIG victory for our courageous boy. 

And another reminder to this worried mama that apraxia or no apraxia, we are moving forward, and Noah is finding his voice, one syllable at a time.


Playing With Our Food – Another Letter C Activity

Cucumber and Carrot Art

Here’s a fun way to incorporate C words, painting, shapes and color matching.  Noah loved this, and it kept him busy and focused longer than usual.

 This is a prime example of why I need to post our activities more than once a week.  All I was hoping to do was use two C words to paint a picture.  In the process of doing, this I captured SO many unexpected teachable moments.  I just love it when that happens.

Activity:  Carrot and cucumber painting


  1. One 2-inch piece of sliced carrot.  Make sure one end of it is completely flat so it will mark a complete circle on the page.
  2. One 2-inch piece of sliced cucumber.  Make sure one end of it is completely flat so it will mark a complete circle on the page.
  3. Orange and green tempera paint.
  4. Paper.

Directions:  Show your child the vegetables, highlighting the fact that the words start with c, the circle shape, the colors of the vegetables.  Then show your child how to dip the vegetables (flat side down) in the paint and press it on the paper.  Kids LOVE to play with food, and there is so much good vocabulary reinforcement going on in this activity.  We used the green paint for the cucumbers and the orange paint for the carrots, so Noah would have to pay attention to which vegetable he was putting in which paint.  This is moving up the hierarchy of implementing knowledge in activities of daily living.  In other words, it’s great if Noah knows his colors, but we want him to know how to use that knowledge and apply it in real-life situations.

There are so many fruits and vegetables you could use with this activity, and  you could implement color matching in all of them.  I have a feeling we’ll be doing this activity again with all the kids.

Noah’s Courage – Update 04-16-2011

Noah seems to be transforming into a talker before my very eyes.  This is the child who was not only not talking but was essentially not making any noise a year ago.  No vroom, vroom, no BOO, nada.

Today at naptime I read a National Graphic Animal Baby Magazine to him.  (By the way, this is a GREAT preschool series.  Lots of preschool skills like counting, finger plays, matching, I spy, etc.)  These are all the things he was able to do:

  1. This issue was about rabbits.  He was able to point to facial features of the rabbit (eyes, ears, nose) when asked.
  2. Counting – He followed my lead and pointed to the bunnies as I counted them, making word approximations for some of the numbers (teh for ten).
  3. I Spy – Noah was able to find objects from a master picture list in a picture.
  4. Gross Motor – Noah saw a picture of a bear touching his toes, and he was able to imitate.
  5. I Spy Shapes – Noah was able to find individual shapes from a master list in a picture made of the same shapes.
  6. Verbalizing – Noah howled like a jackal (following the example in the book) and initiated imitating several of the words as I read them.  That means he did it without prompting.  Huge!!!!   It tells us that he has the desire to speak, that signing is not enough as far as he is concerned.  I see a day coming when we will not have to pull the words out of him, that they will come naturally.  What joy!  (I have heard from more than one person that their child with Down syndrome was slow to speak, but now they can’t get them to shut up.)  I can’t even imagine that (as much as I oppose using the word child and shut up in the same sentence).

What I’ve been seeing more of lately is the way that Noah imitates words in the natural course of things.  For instance, I may say, “Do you want a cookie?”  Noah will follow the question up with his approximation of cookie.  If I say, “Let’s put a Band-Aid on the baby,” he will say “baby.”  It is uncanny how he is following the normal speech development of children, he’s just doing it in his own time.  Very few people stop to marvel at the way a 1-year-old does this naturally, we just take it for granted.  When a child like Noah doesn’t do it until he is 5, the miraculous way God brings us up into the ability to communicate and use the gifts He has given us, like language, is evident.

That reminds me, as soon as Andrew unloaded the goslings he brought home, they all gathered around Noah and peeped and peeped like there was no tomorrow.  One of his Kaufman apraxia cards that I drill him with is of a yellow chick and the accompanying sound is “Peep Peep.”   Without anyone saying anything to Noah, he started saying “Peep Peep.”

You know that “clinic to home carryover” I’ve mentioned before?  This was a prime example of a speech therapy exercise that has definately carried over into real life experience.  Yay for Noah!!!!