The Monster is obsessed with Sesame Street. He has been for a long time… and that’s alright with us.
Of course, Sesame Street is really good at teaching two things – letters and numbers. And the alphabet song is one of his coping mechanisms. Get him overloaded, and he starts singing it.
On the other hand, he also does love numbers. Counting is something that he’s shown a talent for, and he’s largely been ahead of kids his own age at the concept of numbers. But (as Tevye the Dairyman would say, “On the other hand”, as I quickly run out of hands…), there’s not really a lot you can do with counting to keep a child entertained when the alphabet song starts getting repetitive while waiting for a therapy appointment, when you’re trying to keep him calm so he can work with the therapists.
Or is there?
For anyone who has found my other blog rather than this one, I love languages. I’m a native English speaker, but I can mangle my way through Spanish, Esperanto and Hebrew (the last is far more of a work in progress), and have recently started learning French. I also have a smattering of German, Afrikaans and Japanese rattling around in my brain, either from prior failed attempts at learning languages, or from karate class.
So, over the course of a few months, the Monster’s picked up counting, one to ten, in three languages – English, Spanish and Hebrew – with minimal prompting except usually for a kick-start to remind him where it starts, and some stumbles on the pronunciation…. and that last problem is probably more an issue with how I’m saying the words to him, with him trying to imitate my pronunciation and the sounds being ‘mushy’ to him. This is on top of his maybe-50-word vocabulary in Hebrew already, and the hit-or-miss Spanish from Sesame Street…
I’ve tried teach him to count in Esperanto given that the numbers build logically, save that ‘unu’ and ‘uno’ sound very similar and at the moment that fact seems to confuse him. Maybe Japanese would be an interesting next one to throw at him…
But if it engages him, if it gives him something to latch on to that’s “interesting”…
It’s a start.
love the creativity of this…and it’s great that your language skills are helping him find new ways to engage with words and his own stress management techniques. thx for this post.