A while ago, Hubby-jr started asking “what” questions and that was followed by “where” questions. I was absolutely thrilled then as he picked it up on his own and not from speech therapy sessions. However he had problems distinguishing one “W-question” from another. This became more apparent when we (speech therapist and I) started introducing “Who” questions to him.
For example he would ask me, “Who is that?” while pointing to a bus. And when I asked him a question, it seemed to be more of a guessing game for him. If his first answer was wrong he’d proceed to give me different answers. He knew it was a question, he just couldn’t tell what kind of question it was.
To help him with this problem, I modified one of the therapist’s ideas into a game and it worked! After playing this with him twice, he got it!
1. I drew 3 rooms of our house on a large piece of paper (mahjong paper).
To pique his interest, I got his input while drawing (I didn’t ask him to help me draw as I knew he wasn’t interested in this type of thing). I told him that they were PLACEs and for that we use WHERE questions. Then I pointed to each block and asked him, “Where is this?”
2. I took out 3 small sesame street dolls and told him they were PERSONs and for them we use WHO questions. Following which I held the dolls one by one and asked, “Who is this?”(Yes I know technically they aren’t people but I also knew that he knew tv characters were “pretend people”. You can use photos or photo cut-outs of familiar people instead.)
3. Similarly I took 3 toy-food as THINGs for the WHAT questions.
4. I placed a doll and a toy-food in each “room”.
I then pointed to a specific block and asked these questions. Who is eating? What is he eating? Where is he eating?
As advised by our speech therapist, I kept the questions as generic as I could. I didn’t ask “Who is eating the banana?” as that would give him the hint that the answer couldn’t be banana. The whole idea was to facilitate his ability to give the correct answer based solely on his understanding of who, what and where.
I moved my finger from “room” to “room” and rotated the questions as randomly as I could. Initially he had problems answering my questions. So I stopped and lifted each toy/doll and asked, “Is this a thing or a person?” When he answered correctly I then put them in the WHO and WHAT boxes respectively and reiterated to him that WHO is for persons and WHAT is for things.
After that, I went back to step four.
I must add that it worked very well for Hubby-jr as he already had a firm grasp of things, persons and places.
I am happy to say that Hubby-jr has now progressed to a stage where he understands “when” and “why” (incredibly “why” came to him intuitively right from the start!) We’re working on the “how” now (…hmmm, how now brown cow? Jeeps, I’m so corny). As I was saying… even with “how” questions, he’s been displaying signs that he has grasp that too.
I can’t tell you the relief I felt feel with each of his progress. It was is utterly indescribable.
P/S: I spoke with his speech therapist and she says he may be able to do without speech therapy sessions before the end of the year. She’ll make an assessment again soon. I’m praying, I’m praying.
To read my previous posts on speech therapy ideas click here.