Friday, January 28, 2011

Once upon a time...

J came home from school the other day and was so excited to tell me something wonderful. With a big smile on her face, she started to form the words to tell me about the obviously joyous event. 

Maybe she saw a fire truck on her bus ride to school.

Maybe she had a fun time playing in the gym or with the parachute.

Maybe someone had a birthday and they celebrated with cupcakes. 

It is complicated to tell a story and she paused for a moment to think this through. And then...gave up. Her shoulders slumped, she frowned and said, "No can say."

I hate those words. And I hate that I wasn't able to help her. I tried to ask her a few questions, but frustration overwhelmed her and she just wanted to leave things unsaid.

Storytelling is a very complicated process of organizing thoughts into events and a timeline. The most difficult part for J being the actual speaking. I can tell she has thoughts in that little head of hers, but getting them into spoken form is not easy. For a child with a pretty significant speech delay, storytelling is empowering. So we have been playing this game....

This is the "Tell Me A Story" card game. We have both the Circus Animal Adventures and Fairy Tale Mix Up games. There are so many creative ways to use these cards. 

Sometimes we like to shuffle the cards and take turns drawing one card. Whatever is on that card we have to incorporate into our story. Not as easy as it sounds.

Other times we like to arrange the cards along the floor and make a story board of our own choosing. 

This game just never gets boring! Always a new way to tell a story and the illustrations are beautiful and imaginative.

J is doing very well. She starts out with "Once upon a time"...points out a few animals on the cards or actions that interest her....then quickly ends with "The End". She'll get there!


  1. Your blog is moving, Kate. I've been reading along ever since I saw an incoming link on my blog. What an incredible journey. My boys are very different too. I'm getting some good ideas from you. I never realized all that you went through with J. What an amazing gift to put this out there for other parents. It's truly inspiring.

  2. are so sweet, Cori! I really appreciate hearing that. I'm new to all this you know. :) I have always loved your blog too.