Devising his own way of learning to speak – with a Leapfrog Leaptop.

We’ve had a Leapfrog Leaptop for longer than we’ve had a Tigerboy I think, I think we bought it for Smallest for her birthday or Christmas before he was born. She plays with it every now and then, pretending to write emails, or more often making it make music, but mostly it sits around being ignored. (Laptops are so last year you know, we’re on tablets now darling 😉 )

And then recently I noticed that Tigerboy had started playing with it. Except it doesn’t really look like playing somehow, it’s much more business like. He pushes the same buttons repeatedly. He likes O (O says o for octopus!), and X (Ox). He quite enjoys the noises setting, but what he goes back to time and time again are listening to the letter sounds. I *thought* I’d heard him mimic them a couple of times, but tonight it was unmistakable.

My little silent boy isn’t bothering with babble or words. He’s learning sounds, one letter at a time, using the Leapfrog toy laptop.

‘O’ he said, forming his lips into a circle, and pointing at the screen. ‘O’. And ‘sssss’ and ‘mmmmmm’. He didn’t want to let anyone else push the keys and choose his sounds, wouldn’t try any sounds other than the ones he’d figured out already, but he was ever so pleased to be showing off the ones he has cracked. ‘b’ came next which he was very happy with, ‘w’ and ‘v’. With each new sound he learnt, he became more and more excited and proud of himself, possibly reinforced by the round of applause he was getting for each one 😉

The other day I got a pile of photocopied resources sheets through the post instead of a SALT letter or referral. They suggested a wide variety of activities I could try with him, to encourage his speech. Quite a few things are things I do regularly – short sentences, single word choices, saying the thing while I sign it. I give him plenty of space to speak, make sure I spend time with him one on one, read with him, talk about books, draw, do all sorts of things. And any of the activities I tried off the sheets actually upset him, he knew I was trying to get him to speak, and he didn’t appreciate it.

For whatever reason, Tigerboy is verbally shy. But technology seems to be encouraging him to talk, where games, books, puppets and conversation have failed so far. (Yes, I know he’s not quite 2. I know that he’s within average boundaries.) So I think I’ll follow his lead and see where it takes us. Tim says he’s obviously going to bypass talking completely and just take up texting us, and right at the moment I wouldn’t put it past him.

Tigerboy and Mat sat or Bob books app

That was him before dinner, with the iPad mini (thank you Netmums!) and a Bob books app. He had it cracked very very quickly although there was a moment of panic when he got to level 3 and it didn’t have the letters in the words to drag the tiles on to. Made me realise he was doing most of the matching visually, but he quickly figured out how to do it without any hints. He’s a bright lad. If he wants to come up with his own method of learning to talk, I’m sure it’ll work out fine in the long run.

Now, where did we put that Leaptop? Somehow I think I’m going to want it front and centre for a while, as he learns the whole alphabet 🙂

Linked up to #SSAmazingAchievements.
Ethans Escapades

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

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  1. He’s a clever boy that won’t be rushed 🙂
    When my son had speech therapy as a three year old she did lots of looking in a mirror with him to watch the exaggerated mouth shapes his sounds make and he really loved that game and giggled and repeated and giggled again.

  2. Glad to hear you’re feeling more confident that he will get there in his own way and time 🙂

  3. he sounds like such a clever boy, every child learns differently and he obviously has a very clever way of teaching himself to speak!

  4. This is fantastic, anything that helps him to talk is brilliant. Monkey is 21 months but we have no words yet either. We do have a lot of babbling though and I think it’s getting closer. I know it;s still within normal ranges but I wish he would talk! We’ve got a little toy laptop that sounds letter too, will get it out for him again to see if it helps! Thank you! Good to know we aren’t alone! xx #ssamazingachievements

  5. He is going to be a natural with technology like his Mum 🙂

  6. Ethan has one of these, I just got it out for him again today. It’s fantastic that Tigerboy is using it to bring on his speech. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with technology at the moment as Ethan is always on his iPad and a bit obsessed with it, but I do know that everything he has showed us he knows he has learnt from playing with it. If they are learning from it then it’s all good. Ethan loves alphablocks because of letters and I have just started to introduce him to countdown.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    • Jax Blunt says:

      Smallest loves Alphablocks, I’m fairly sure she’ll figure out reading for herself one of these days. I know what you mean about technology, it’s trying to maintain a balance isn’t it?

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