Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brynn Talks Like a Champ



Cochlear Implants rock--and despite what some members of the Deaf community might tell you, they definitely work! Brynn does not have a "deafy voice" or any kind of speech problem. She won't need any speech therapy. She sounds like a normal 2 year old and is progressing incredibly fast. Although one State test show her as a couple months behind; another State test showed her as being a several months ahead. In my own estimation, she's communicating as well as any of her hearing peers, so I don't really care whether she is "ahead" or "behind" on some State curve. She's Brynn and that's fine with me.

That said, we still plan to teach her ASL because she is still deaf when the implants are off! She already knows about 100+ signs in addition to recognizing fingerspelled words.

You'll also notice in the video that in addition to being able to speak clearly and understandably, Brynn's small reading vocab is emerging. Turns out Glenn Doman knew what he was talking about. The basic idea is teaching them written words the same way you teach them auditory language (or any other visual language like ASL)--by showing it to them in words and phrases rather than teaching them how to sound things out.

Although we think Brynn's pretty smart and we're proud of her for her early reading, the truth is any kid can do it. Although I often imagine I'd have a tougher time with a busy boy than my little mellow Brynn who will often sit and study the words for long periods of time. Her year of visual development without any auditory stimulation probably contributes to her fascination and skill.

And in case you're wondering, the answer is No. I do not have some secret ambition of making Brynn the smartest girl on the planet so I can claim bragging rights. On the contrary, all I really care about is her growing into her best self and since she's so incredibly interested in language and words (she begs me to write words with her about 5 times a day), it's fun to give her all the exposure she wants.

If Heidi wants exposure to plants or animals instead, I'm not going to force her sit and learn to read at age 2.

2011Res: To Matt: I loved and appreciated your willingness to give me a break today without complaining so I could finally compile this video! To my girls: today I savored our walk to the park. Dear Mr H: today I made sweet potato fries when I really felt like doing nothing because I love you.

14 comments:

Jenn Ross said...

Brynn is such a cutie and a smartie! I love to see how awesome she is doing! Also, Brynn and Jameson pronounce "piano" the exact same way, and, like you said, sound the same when they are speaking :) So proud of you, Brynn!

Mara said...

Brielle, Emme and I watched the video together. How wonderful to see Brynn doing so awesome! Before it was over, Brielle asked me if I would pause it so she could go get a piece of paper and a pencil and learn how to read those words, too! :)

Anna said...

Wow, that's so impressive! I love that she wanted you to write "sad Caleb." She's such a little sweetie!

Alyson said...

I think that is super impressive. She sounds wonderful, and I love the way she just understands you without looking at you. It is nigh unto miraculous, you ask me.

I want to share an article with you, because it changed my perspective hugely and I wish I'd had it much earlier in my child rearing/homeschooling. I think my kids are brilliant, I really do. I see brilliance in a lot of children, but I especially see it (subjectively!) in mine. I probably said, "You're so smart!" Thirty times a day to Emma and Christian when we were just starting out in homeschool. Anyway, this article just seemed so important to me, I re-read it with regularity. We really talk about this concept a lot at our home.
http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/
Feel free to read it, or not. Just seemed like an interest we may have in common.

Jenn Ross said...

Hey lady!

I awarded your blog the Butterfly award over at my blog. Check it out here:

http://jamesonstories.blogspot.com/

The Lingo Family said...

She is so smart. I cannot believe she can sing the ABC song. My Ella who will be 4 in March cannot even remember that song. You are so patient with her. Thank You for sharing your life on your blog. :)

Natalie said...

Mara: How fun! I wish I could give your girls smooches and hear them sing again :)

Alyson: FANTASTIC article. It's great timing for sending that because I've been reading more books that have mentioned the pitfalls of praising too much. But something about the books' criticisms left me hanging and not totally convinced that I should not praise my kids. This article hit the nail on the head for me with the distinction between praising things over which kids have no control (innate ability like "smarts") verses praising things they CAN control (like hard work and curiosity). The distinction totally changed my paradigm and I have completely altered the way I talk to Brynn (and even Heidi). Thanks again!

Lingo Family: Don't you worry a teensy tiny bit about being 4 and not knowing the ABC song. I just read a fantastic book by a noted scholar and education advocate who himself didn't read until he was 10 years old. Kids will get in when they are ready and the timing of when they get it is no indication of future performance. PS I'm glad you like my life even when I am far from perfect :)

Kirsten said...

She really sounds great! I would have no idea she was deaf if I heard her talking. That's amazing! And, she is a little smartie! Love her "I'm running so fast!"
Britton has always been super interested in words and letters. He started reading words at about 3, and now 4 months later he reads sentences and easy books. I agree somewhat with the word recognition thing. He really focuses on that a lot, even though he knows how to sound things out too.

Justine, Mike, and Hazel said...

Brynn is doing so well! You made the right decision about pulling her from therapy because she's obviously doing great! We are moving to Utah in December and I would love to get Brynn and Hazel together. Hazel signs here and there as she talks just like Brynn does (in fact she always signs 10 when she's counting like Brynn did). I would love Hazel to be exposed to another kiddo her age who can sign and I'm sure they'd have a blast.

Natalie said...

Justine--I would LOVE for Brynn to meet Hazel. Where are you moving, exactly?

Justine, Mike, and Hazel said...

We will be moving the week between Christmas and New Years. Right now we're not exactly sure where in Utah we will be living as it will depend on where Mike gets a job. We'll keep you posted.

Audrey said...

Brynn is adorable! That is so great. You are such a great Mom!

Behind the Lens said...

Amazing to see her in action! Thanks for sharing!!

Kate said...

I finally watched the video today with Jason, and he loved watching Brynn. However, he wished you would have shown more of the pictures you had drawn for Brynn.