Logan's Early On teacher, Michelle, swears that summertime is one of the best opportunities for growth in kids' speech, and if his session today is any indication, she is really on to something! When Michelle asked Logan to identify the farm animal toys, he almost always produced an approximation for the animals' names or sounds that they make. When she showed him different pictures of animals in a book, he was able to select the corresponding animal toy. He also correctly matched up "girl" and "boy" with the pictures. I was pretty excited by this, and told her how he has become much more actively engaged in reading recently. He points to objects, makes noises, and will answer simple questions when we read together. She agreed, noting that he understands everything we say, and his ability to understand and follow directions is actually advanced for his age.
While playing with the animals, he started laying them down and Michelle asked him if they were going to sleep. When he responded "uh huh" she said, "Tell Mia, 'shh.' They're sleeping," and placed a finger over her mouth for "shh." Logan immediately mimicked the motion and made a "shh" sound! Both of those were new for him.
When he became hungry, it was time to wrap up the session, and Michelle asked him if he wanted to eat. Logan responded with an approximation for "eat," which I had never heard until then! He also wanted me to help him open his water bottle so he signed "drink." He has done this before but not without prompting. I told her that he had been signing "open" since she introduced it during his previous session. Logan repeatedly strung together signs for her by signing things like "open please" and "more please" to ask her to take out more animals. He was also saying "p" "p" "p" while signing "please," since Michelle had tried to get him to say please, "p" "p" "p" during the last playgroup we attended in July. She noted that Logan will mimic words when asked in context if an object is present. This is great because instead of just parroting words back to us, he uses them in a meaningful way.
Michelle also observed that Logan is starting to use spontaneous language. I told her that his newest word is his approximation for "up," but his version has a "b" at the beginning so it sounds like "bup." This one makes me smile because he says it so enthusiastically. Looking back at the progress he has made since starting Early On in January, when he wasn't even saying "mama" or "dada," it seems that his speech development is headed directly "bup!"