I am a mother of 4, one of which is almost 2, and he is a late talker! So, I was excited about being able to read this book and hoped to learn a few pointers to maybe help Deegan start talking!
Ella Jackson, has been an education researchere, a practicing teacher from kindergarten to 12th grade, and she also tutored children with learning problems. She is the author of this book, and a mother of 3 and a grandmother.
I have to say, I actually feel a little more intelligent after reading this book, mainly because I learned quite a bit! I was very pleased with the way it was written, as if I was having a conversation with somebody and they were answering my questions as i read through this book, and they reinforced some of the harder to grasp parts. Yes, I can honestly say there were a few things I found that shocked me! For instance, when a baby is born, he/she actually has more brain cells then an adult! Can you believe that? I never even thought about it, and just when I thought, "Nah ah!", the author explained it again, and it really made some sense!
I have always been a pretty confident mom, and even though I would always still take what people offered for tips, advice, to heart, I usually ended up being stubborn and sticking with my same old routine. Of course I still call my own mom for advice, and even with 4 children, things change, new research and medicines and science. I just have always stuck with what I learned and what I knew. It has done pretty well for us, so far.
But each child is different, and all of ours have their similarities, there are giant differences! Bethany, our first, talked and walked and was potty trained by age 1. Aaron talked at, (you will never believe this, but I swear it is true!), the very night he was born! The nurses and doctors insisted he was saying "MOM!", every time he looked at me and wanted me to pick him up. However, Aaron was in diapers for much longer then Bethany! Genevive, was an early eater, walker and talker, but is still in Pull Ups at night time only!
Deegan, who will be 2 in May, was born with club foot and cleft lip. ) I have many miracle stories about this little boy, as some of you may have read, but we were told several times that he would be born with many, many issues, and he wasn't!). Most recently, we were told that he had some missing pieces of his brain. He was also diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome, Chiari Malformation, and Hydrocephalus. Well, we just refused to believe this, seeing that he showed not 1 symptom, and the doctors and specialists were going on and on and insisting that they were right during my pregnancy. We took Deegan to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, for a second opinion. Here is another unbelievable story, they told us Deegan is perfectly healthy and fine! I was in tears and tried to keep from being so happy and relieved because I felt horrible for the other families that were there that morning. The pediatric neurologist told us that his MRI's had a missing tonsil, which actually wasn't missing and the pictures were just a bit off and goofy but only because Deegan moved his head during the MRI! Wow.
Anyway, my point behind this is, I am very happy and much more content since reading this book! I have been afraid to ask our doctors about Deegan not really talking much just yet. I figure they will start the tests and diagnose him some more, so I have been trying to help him talk.
What I found with Deegan, is, he just doesn't feel like it. He does this thing where he talks with his mouth closed and you can kind of make out what he is saying, but very rarely will he talk while his mouth is open. He does say Mom, Dad, what, thank you, he even says your welcome. Some days he doesn't say anything except for mom. Some days he is talking like crazy, but still mostly inside his mouth.
I am very thankful for this book, and have been able to feel more at ease, knowing that there are late talkers and there are things I can do to help Deegan along the way!
At the end of this book, is a section that explains what ages in months, should be considered "normal". Suffice to say, Deegan is "normal", and I am quite content now, knowing that at 24 months Deegan should be saying 7 true words, and understanding 50.He should also be able to comprehend simple spoken directions, like, "Give me the cup", which he has for a long time. (Trust me, he is a naughty little man, so he does hear lots of simple spoken directions, as he smirks at us and kind of does what he is told lol).
By 24 months, he should be speaking 2 word phrases, which he does, point to body parts when asked, yes, and understanding when called from another room, YUP! So, unlike a lot of what I hear from other moms, magazines, and even the doctor's pamphlets they give at each visit, (You know the "milestone reports"), Deegan is fairly doing just fine.
Of course, as the author suggests, if you would happen to have a doubt in your mind, you should talk to your doctor, about a possible hearing assessment. Deegan does have his hearing checked every 6 months due to his cleft lip, so we are good there;)
Back to the book, is it worth your money? Yes! Is it a well written book? Yes! Would I recommend this book to family and friends? Yes!
Not only does this book help you teach your baby to talk, and give you examples, facts, and back up the research, it has lots of very cute activities for you and your babies and toddlers!
Each chapter offers more information, I always say I try to learn something new everyday, and this book most definitely taught me plenty!
I liked how they explained the differences between the different ways you can talk to your baby, and teach your baby to talk. Each way has their own examples, explanations and activities. I am going to be a grandmother this summer, and I enjoyed reading about the bilingual and sign language options, and I believe that would be very interesting to talk with Lillian in German, or Japanese, (yes, me and the little ones have been learning these 2 languages). I also was happy to read about how we should talk to our babies and use mimicking and touch, as ways to help them learn and make the connections between objects and words.
We have always, well me especially, (since I tend to talk a lot), spoken to our babies, from day 1, as though they were an adult, or at least a big kid. I tell them what we are going to do today, where we are going, what we will do, point out colors and animals, what is in the cabinets, the bathroom closet, etc.
I have to add just a couple more things I found very useful and interesting in this book:
If your children are saying a word or two or more, with a different sound or letter, for example, "gog" for dog, try saying "dog" with a thumb or a bottle or a pacifier in your mouth;) I never thought of it this way. You should also not say "gog" back to your child, you should still say, dog, correctly!
My favorite part of the book, (well, one of my favorite parts), was; newborns are capable of expressing emotions through their facial muscles. They can in fact smile, and frown, and much more!
I know some people and doctors say they are not smiling at us that early, but they are!
Another cute thing for you mommies and daddies out there to remember, when your babies are moving their little mouths, you should consider this as a sign that they are communicating and trying to talk to you!
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