I was working with a child yesterday who has a language delay and somewhat limited vocabulary. We were working on creating mental semantic webs for words by generating items in categories. We had gone through a few – name three things that live in the ocean, name three things that are blue, name three games that you play with a ball – and were on the last category – name three things that make you happy.
Her adorable little face puckered with concentration.
“Uh. Uh. Candy!”
“Good!” I said. “What else makes you happy?”
Furrowed brow and deep concentration.
“Um. Uh. Oh! Cookies!”
“I like cookies, too. One more, now. What really makes you so happy?”
She was quiet for a moment, and then her face lit up like the sun was shining on it. An enormous smile blossomed and she began to wiggle like an excited puppy.
“When Daddy gets home!”
Tears stung my eyes at the simple sweetness of her response.