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saturday, february 10, 2001

one of the ways i prepare for a test is to create a study guide, if at all possible. some teachers kindly give a handout with a list of things that could be on the test. i use this to build a comprehensive study guide. and i mean comprehensive. i don't just answer the question, i find all the information i can in the book and in my notes that we have studied thus far and put all of it in the study guide. while they tend to be time consuming, they are also one of the reasons i have always done well at tests. even if i never look at it again before the test, just the act of writing it all down in one place and putting it together seems to help set it all in my mind.

(as a quick aside, we just had a "gentle" rolling earthquake that actually lasted for a minute or two. astonishingly enough, kitten, who is terrified of earthquakes, didn't even notice. no damage. just kinda felt like being on a boat rocking in the waves. wonder how big it was? ok, back to our regularly scheduled whysper. . . )

but there are some subjects that are just loaded with information. as it turns out, my language acquisition class, which is scheduled for a midterm on monday, is one of those classes. i am working my way through 3 chapter study guides and the midterm study guide and my head already feels stuffed on the second of the 3 chapters. and what i'm covering in class doesn't even really scratch the surface of language acquisition. monday's test, covering the first half of the quarter, is on first language acquisition. have you really thought about what goes into learning your primary language? its absolutely mind boggling. and i am trying to get it all together in a study guide so i can pass a test on it! there's just so much, no wonder my brain feels stuffed!

but this is a good stuffed. because of my son's disabilities, i have been interested in cognition and language acquisition. i have two minors and one is in psychology precisely so i can study these things for my son. he really is an astonishing little boy when you think about it, particularly in language development. most kids begin processing language at birth. they can't really express it and they may not understand the words precisely, but they are beginning to process the sounds that go with their particular language environment. within a year, any sounds that are not a part of their primary language have been filtered out of their sound system. by 2 years they are purposely and deliberately putting words together with meaning, added complex grammatical rules and making longer and more complex novel sentences. this growth of language is incredible. taz started this process over 4 years later than other kids and remains consistently 4 years behind in language production. still, in about 4 years he has gone from no spoken language what so ever to speaking conversationally. his sentences are more simplistic than kids his age, and he still has phonetic problems, some of which seem to be unique to him, but he has come a long way from being unable to speak at all.

and all the stuffing going into my head tells me he's going to be ok. he's progressing fairly normally, even if delayed. he is definitely language delayed, but he may not have a language disorder. he knows grammar, even if he chooses to use a more simplistic way of speaking. if he has a language disorder at all, it is very mild.

yep, some stuffing is definitely good.

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