Before you get your knickers in an uproar and accuse me of pretending to be a developmental pediatrician or an OT, PT or SLP, I did use the word "informal" in the post title. But really, after 3 years of evaluations a reasonably observant parent can figure out the highlights of some of the testing.
Block stacking is a perennial favorite at evaluations. I think it is fair to say that Eliza has mastered that skill:
She even admires her own work:
Eliza continues to fail the "let's pretend" test with the wooden cake and babydoll. Personally I think Eliza should be exempt from this one since not only would she never consider eating a birthday cake, she certainly is smart enough to figure out that this one is tasteless:
Which brings us to the dreaded speech evaluation. As I suspected, my playground observations confirm that virtually every neurotypical 3 to 3.5 year old can converse with the basic "who, what, where, when why and how" questions. Typical playground conversations involve parents yelling: "who's truck is that and where did you get it?" with the 3 year old answering: "it's Sally's and she gave it to me." The second part of this answer may well be a lie since very few three year olds part with their trucks in the sandbox. And we all know that every three old worth her salt has asked "why" enough times to make her mother head to the wine cellar.
Not so at Casa de Eliza. Eliza is sorely lacking in pragmatic speech or what is also called social language.
Eliza has a large vocabulary and for example, can identify many dozens of animals, can tell the difference between a crane, eagle, flamingo, scarlet macaw, dove and lovebird. But ask her if she went to school or what her teacher's name is and you get a big blank stare. Eliza can answer questions, but you quickly realize many of those answers are simply parroting the question. For example, "did you color at school?" gets the answer "I color at school." By the same token "did you go parachuting at school?" gets the answer "I parachute at school."
How do you teach a child to communicate and not just recite words? How do you get a child to converse in even basic ways? And if the child can't really do that, how do they ever learn to socialize with their peers? Feel free to post any pearls of wisdom.