DIARY NOTES – In 1990, 23 years ago today Hughan and I were at the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town…
Vanessa had given us some homework to do over the weekend.
Language comprehension test for parents (receptive language).
Age 12 – 18 Months
1) When a child is doing something he likes doing, but which he should not do (such as touching the plants or the TV) stand a little distance away (without stopping the action or touching the child) and say –
“no, no” or
any customary warning such as “stop it” or “Oh-no”.
See whether the child interrupts his action by stopping – 10 to one he will do it again – but if he stops for a little while, he shows that he understands.
Hughan – when saying “no” Hughan stops straight away and will not carry on with what he was doing. He understands the word “no”.
2) To see whether a child can understand “bye-bye”, do the following:-
Pretend to walk away and wave, saying “bye-bye”. If he waves back, he understands the word. At 16 to 18 months he should be able to understand “bye-bye” without the waving gesture. When one of the parents prepares to go away, leaving the child with strangers, he should have a sad expression on hearing “bye-bye”. This is also a sign that he understands.
Hughan - understands when you say “bye-bye” and depending on the circumstance, sometimes he waves. He always waves goodbye to Daddy and Vil, but not always to people he doesn’t know very well.
3) After being taught the game “clap your hands” (or clap handies), “shut your eyes”, he should be able to do it when requested.
Hughan - he does not clap his hands on request.
4) “Sit” may be tested by telling baby to sit and indicating with your hand that he must sit. Later he should understand it without the gesture. Remember to get his attention, then to say “sit”, since he must be able to do it after hearing it once or twice – no more.
Hughan – responds to being told “sit”, “sit down”. He will also do this without a gesture.
5) To see whether he understands “hot”, take him to something that maybe hot, that as a stove, heater or kettle. When he reaches for it, say, “it’s hot”. Don’t say “no, don’t touch”, or “Ugh”, because in that way he doesn’t test the word “hot”. It may be necessary first to learn the word “hot” and then test it. If he understands the word “hot” he will pull away before touching the object. If he pulls away after touching it, it may mean that he has felt the heat and still does not know the meaning of the word “hot”. He should also completely stop touching it, and never touch it again.
Hughan - he can say the word “hot” and he is aware of the items that are hot – stove, kettle and teapot. He puts his hand forward and pulled it away before touching the item and says “hot”.
6) When a child is with other people, call his name. If he looks round, it may be that he understands. To be 100% sure, leave the room and when you re-enter, call somebody else’s name. He should not look round. It is difficult to be sure whether a child knows his name; therefore it may be point to the test over a period of time.
Hughan – he often turns around promptly to being called, but I would not say at this stage he knows his name. He also turns around to “no” and “come” as well.
18 – 24 Months
1) Place 4 objects before the child – any of the following: shoe, cup, bottle, hand, cat, milk, ball, car, baby doll, spoon, chair, – in other words any well-known objects from his surroundings. Rather do not use pictures.
Give the instructions:
a) “show me the ball”
b) “give me the ball”
c) “pick up the ball”
Thus two things are tested:
a) whether he knows the words, and
b) whether he can follow the instructions.
If you say “give me the shoe” and the child points at the shoe, then he understands “shoe” but not “give”.
Hughan - I placed one of his shoes (that he was not wearing), a ball, a car and a In front of him. When I asked him for the shoe, he went to take his shoe or his foot. He gave me the ball and the car when being asked. He does not understand the instructions. He did not give me the cup when being asked.
2) Ask the child “where are/is your eyes, nose, ears, hair, foot and also give instructions, such as, “put out your tongue; close your eyes”. He should know the names of three parts of the body.
Hughan - tries saying the word “eye” and has said “ear” once and also nose, hair and foot. After bath time I asked him the different names and he points to is eyes only when being asked. I have played games with Hughan in the past with – “close your eyes”, “open your eyes” and it has been a game. He did not do this when I asked him to, only when I had started the game.
24 – 30 Months
1) take a cardboard box and a block or any well-known object and ask the child’s to put it in the box, and then on, or under the box. You are testing whether he understands in/on/under. Do not make use of gestures – don’t point. If he can’t do it, test him again on another day. He should know all these prepositions.
2) To test whether he understands the question, “where” and the name of at least 12 objects as well as 6 to 7 parts of the body: use any words known to him, such as shoe, ball, brush, spoon, plate, and parts of the body such as eyes, nose, mouth, neck etc. and asked the child, “where is the spoon?”or ”where are your shoes?” Also “where is your nose?” etc. sometimes children prefer using a doll rather than pointing to themselves.
3) The child should know three dinner- ware articles, such as spoon, fork, Knife, etc. Ask him, “where is the knife?” or “give daddy the knife”. This test is only to see whether he knows the name of the article and not whether he understands the instruction or question.
4) Using the same cutlery as in no. 3 – knife, spoon, fork, etc., test whether the child understands “not”. Ask, “which is not the fork?” The child should be able to understand “not”. Ask three times. He should answer correctly all three times.
5) To test “your” and “my”: take any article he knows, e.g. a hat, and tell him “put the hat on your head”. “Now put the hat on my head”. “Now put the hat on your head again”. He should respond correctly to all three test questions.
Thanks Sue, you can continue to work on the aspects at home.
(Helping parents with hearing impaired children through our experience…we are following our profoundly deaf son’s diary, from 1990, so you can see what we did to help him with his speech and hearing. Hughan is 25 years old now and he can hold a conversation on a phone. It is the little thing we did every day, over a long period of time, that has helped him. Please visit our page…’like’ and follow us to help others…Thank you)