Friday, January 23, 2009

My little grammarian :)

We've only been in school this week. Missed about 2 weeks of school & activities following the Christmas break. The main reason is Benedict's persistent cough over the holidays and the more than a week of flash floods/bad weather which followed.

Anyway, when Benedict went back to school, the first thing his teachers noticed is his growing vocabulary and his eagerness to talk. Teacher Christie even told me "Ma'am I dont know what you did over the holidays but Benedict seems to be talking a mile a minute now." hahaha :D

Oh well, after our Dev. Ped visit, we took pain in ensuring that we (albeit me & his Daddy) are talking really slow...mostly syllabicating our words so the little boy can follow our conversation. And I guess it is working.

And I also notice that Benedict seems to get the rules of adding plurals. I recall our having this conversation over the holidays...

Benedict: "Mom, what's this?" (touching the lighted series lightbulbs in the form of the snowmen)

me: "Oh, that's a christmas decor's a snowman." (pointing to one)

Benedict: "I like the...Many snowmans mom?" (pure innocent expression, which freeze the tiny smile on my face)

Me: "Hmmm, snowMEN"

Benedict: "Ah! many snowmens Mom?" hahaha!

Me: "No sweetheart. Snowman if there's only 1...snowmen if there are 2 or more"

Another instance...

His Ko-Tiu gave him a die-cast jeep in the morning and added 2 more die-cast toys later in the night. Benedict was proudly showing his new toys to his Ah Ko. I overheard him saying...

Benedict: "Look Ah Ko!! Tu-tu (Ko Tiu) give E-Sim (engsim) many carsES"

Me: "Come here's car if there's only one (holding his toy) and carS if there are 2 (counting 1, 2 cars) and even more (adding 3,4 & 5 cars)."

...there goes a funny lesson on pluralization!

I am amazed that a 2 y/o can actually sense the grammatical rules. I mean, how old were we when these were given to us as formal lessons in school? 7-8? But then again, I guess my Benedict is really comfortable with the English language too. He tries so hard (it sounds cute) to communicate in English. That's why I am really making the effort to spend every waking moment with him. I just couldn't run the risk of him copying Yaya's wrong pronounciation or grammatical errors...que horror! Not that I meant that to belittle the nanny, but it's such a shame to let the window of opportunity go to waste, just bec. I was delegating my responsibility to the yaya.

And I am also showing him new Mandarin videos which I got from my Shobe. Actually he just started taking interest in them last week. And I am happy to hear him pronounce the chinese names of the characters correctly na. His Daddy is also now being greeted with "ni hao" in the morning instead of his "g'morning Daddy!" before. hahaha :D

I think he also got his expressions of "hmmm (with matching thinking expression)...i know" and "i think so" from that same mandarin/english show. :)

It's definitely looking up for our little grammarian!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Benedict's visit to the Dev. Ped.

Since 3rd quarter of 2008, I was a bit worried when I noticed that Benedict is slurring his speech and he is stuttering. Since I have read somewhere that this is hereditary and for a fact that my hubby at times also would stutter, I have brought this concern to his pedia. The ever-attentive and maternal, Dra. Lucile suggested that for our peace of mind, we let a Developmental Psychologist examine him.

We were waiting since November for a slot and we're lucky to get a schedule for January 6. I've heard that in Manila, the waiting list would take about a year.

At 4pm on the dot we were ushered in by the kind secretary of Dra. Annah, after filling in a page of information/background sheet.

As expected, Benedict was shy and anxious. The pretty and soft-spoken Dra. Annah talked to us for a while, gathering as much information as she could regarding our parenting style and method of child-rearing. She inquired at length about how Benedict is behaving at home.

Then came the actual examination...which is actually just a series of tinkering of different playthings (blocks, puzzles) so the doctor can observe Benedict and his behavior. At first, Benedict didnt actually do as he is told to sit on the patient's chair (a monobloc with a Mickey Mouse print), instead he pointed it out to the doctor. But when he did not show resistance when I lifted him to sit on it, I took it as a cue for my exit. So, Marlon & I waited in the doctor's room while Dra. Annah & Benedict "played". Occassionally hearing my little one's quips.

After about an hour and a half of that activity, the door to the examination room was opened by the little hands of my Benedict. And he was out beaming at me with a burst of sunlight and an energetic hop. He clearly enjoyed their session.

And Marlon and I couldn't have been happier when Doc Annah gave us her observations.

This is supposedly confidential...but I am just so proud a mom to keep it to myself!


Chronologic Age: 2 years and 4 months

Tool Used: Griffith's Mental Development Scale

  • Locomotor: 2 years and 6 months
  • Eye-Hand Coordination: 2 years and 10 months
  • Hearing and Speech/Language: 2 years and 10 months
  • Personal and Social: 2 years and 4 months
  • Performance/Problem-Solving Skills: 3 years and 8 months


Benedict is a pleasant but shy boy. It took a while before he warmed up to the examiner and cooperated in the structured activities. He has good sitting skill, focus and attention span. He has good meaningful eye contact with good imitations skill.

He performed very well in non-verbal problem solving scale with above-average performance. His communication skill is at par with his age but there are immature articulations and dysfluency, which are still acceptable for his age.


Above average performance with stuttering


Benedict is a smart and intelligent boy who presents with stuttering. Stuttering is an involuntary repitition, prolongation or blockage of a word. The child's risk for beginning to stuttering increases from his 2nd until his 4th birthday, then decreases gradually until about the age of 12. It gradualy begins during the period when a child is acquiring language at a rapid rate and the risk is 3-5x greater if there is a family history of stuttering.

  1. Listen patiently to what he is saying, not how he said it.
  2. Allow your child to complete his thoughts without interruptions.
  3. Avoid filling in or speaking your child's thoughts or ideas.
  4. Spend at least 30 minutes each day talking with your child in an unhurried, very relaxed manner.
  5. Limit his exposure to tv and encourage him to engage in manipulative activities.
  6. Continue his playschool so that he can socialize with other children.


For developmental review on September 16, 2009 at 4pm.


Dr. Annah Rebecca Valmores-Doroja, MD,DPPS, FPSDBP

Fellow, Philippine Society for developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Diplomate, Philippine Pediatric Society

Although initially, we are a bit worried about Benedict's case of stuttering, we are now pacified with the thought that there is no hidden implication/ailment for stuttering inividuals (thank heavens!) and I am particularly assured by the kind Dr. Annah that there is no truth to the study linking stuttering to heart ailment, inspite of it being an issue in the 1970's.

Oh well, I guess this is more of a blessing in disguise bec. we have just discovered that we have indeed a smart little fellow for a son. And we are somewhat humbled that God has gifted us with a smarter than usual little boy, but at the same time we are also challenged to become true nurturers of his God-given gifts and talents.

Indeed, it's true that to those whom God has blessed more, much more is also expected in return. May we prove worthy of this task assigned to us from heaven.