A few weeks ago I promised I'd follow up on Smiley's IEP (Individualized Education Program) from his school. Here goes.
First: Smiley appears to enjoy coming to school and interacting with his peers. He follows all classroom rules and routines independently. Smiley is eager to help and to learn. He completes his work and art projects independently.
Then: Dad continues to have concerns regarding his speech production and Smiley knowing his letters and numbers.
Here's the pertinent part: Smiley's speech is approx. 50% intelligible during spontaneous speech to known listeners in known contexts. He often requires cues and/or reminders to slow his rate of speech and to use all hsi sounds. Smiley has difficulty producing the following sounds consistently and/or spontaneously: s, s blends, z, sh, ch, k, g, and th. He produces "s" and "s" blends at the word level w/ minimal verbal and or visual reminders. Smiley requires cues to use correct vowel production at the word level during spontaneous and imitative speech production. Smiley uses 3-4 word sentences to spontaneously to communicate. He uses correct prepositions during structured and unstructured language tasks. He continues to require cues to use articles and correct pronouns. He follows directions independently, answers "wh" questions with 75-100% accuracy and labels vocabulary w/ 80-100% accuracy. Smiley labels 9/9 colors and 8/8 shapes. He counts to eight, then skips to 10. He labels 4/20 numbers and 2/26 letters.
Then: Smiley's speech and language delays negatively impact his communication w/ peers and teachers and his ability to express wants, needs, and thoughts in an age appropriate manner.
Whew. Heavy stuff. Here it is in English. He still doesn't talk very well, but talks 1000% better than he would have if Lisa hadn't pushed to enroll him in therapy two years ago. If you know the boy, and have some idea about the subject that he's discussing, you have a 50/50 chance of comprehending him. I'd say it's closer to 60-70% for family.
The thing I find remarkable is that it really truly doesn't seem to wear him down. He just keeps plugging away. Oh, he gets happy when you understand him, and sometimes seems shocked when you do, but even when you don't he'll a) patiently repeat it until either you get it or b) he finds another way to communicate his needs. The only time I've seen him get annoyed is when a clerk at a store failed to understand him. After a few tries Smiley waved him off and said "nebber min'".
There's some drawbacks to his newfound intelligiblity. We discovered he's been 'secretly' sassing us, saying "shut up" and whatnot in Smiley talk. The first time we comprehended what he was saying we naturally scolded him. He was flabbergasted; he'd been saying it so long without a reaction I think he believed it to be a perfectly appropriate comment.
Forgetting that stuff, here's some famous Smiley quotes: "Di-ah-wee-ah!", said as often as possible in every context.
He also very frequently asks "Is he weal?" of various characters in TV, movies, and in picture books. I think this is a developmental stage, but I don't recall it with the older girls. I think he's trying to sort out the real from the impossible, and fiction from reality. It's cute, but it's also fascinating to see his mind churn over the possiblities.
Anyhow, I've rambled on long enough. Have a good day.