Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Apr '12

Wes Singing, Signing, and Learning

Wes is four and a half now. He attends preschool three mornings each week and goes to Primary at church on Sundays, and of course he’s at home a lot with me and Carissa. Presumably he’s learning things in each of his daily environments.

One of the more frustrating things about being Wesley’s mom is that I usually can’t tell what he’s picking up on. For instance, I have serious doubts that anything disciplinary I’m trying to teach him actually soaks in (demonstrated again today when he tossed a book at the light fixture in our bedroom and broke the glass–after about 100+ times of telling him not to do that). Clearly he’s smart and bright, in his own way, but his communication abilities are limited enough to make it hard for me to know what’s really happening inside his head.

I know I can’t really be present in his school or church classrooms to see what they’re teaching him and how he receives it, but it would be nice if I could.

So every now and again I’m a little amazed to find out some things he knows.

This week both kids were testing my patience when I noticed a CD the Primary presidency dropped off that has all the songs the kids are learning this year. I popped it in the CD player and was amazed to find that Wes knows the first song on the CD. It’s called “As a Child of God.” He knows the chorus best of all.

He liked it so much that he wouldn’t let me move on to the next track, so I finally put the player on repeat and he sang and listened to the song over and over again.

I was really impressed. I know Wes likes music, but I had no idea he knew this song.

Today I put in some more CDs from the Signing Time series. It teaches simple signs through music. Wes has been watching Signing Time videos since he was about one year old. He still likes and watches them. John feels like they might not be encouraging verbal communication enough, but I think it’s still a positive experience for him. Especially when I saw him sing along to the songs that he’s heard so many times before. I was impressed that he knew it so well just by listening, without the pictures and visual help from the DVD.

This song is about feelings. I didn’t realize he knew so many signs from the song, and he can basically sing along with it. My favorite one he does is grumpy (“bumpy,” as he says).

I wish I could better understand how his mind works, and also how to help him more. But it is nice once in a while to see that he IS learning and progressing in his own ways.

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