My son Yuvaan’s world has stories, books, cartoons, acting an integral part of it.
But before I should start sharing my storytelling experience with my son Yuvaan.
I will provide the parents a little brief, when Yuvaan turned 2, and we saw some red flags, we started his early intervention, so the skills which I used to learn during his therapies, I would practice them at home. And since those days he had a dedicated reading time, before sleeping.
So when he was 2 we introduced the board books sets ( abc, numbers, shapes, animals etc) to him.
What I and his speech teacher noticed that he was able to read the words (whatever mentioned on the page) properly or with a little help from us.
This encouraged us as a parent to follow the reading time in a dedicated manner.
So this daily reading time at night not only helped us building an opportunity to bond more, connect more with our child but also we were able to achieve all the initial milestones together (which were required for a 2year old, like eye contact, responding to name calling, imitating sounds and actions, imaginary and pretend play, started with need based speech, to name a few..).
Initially, we used to read for Yuvaan which he used to attentively listen, explore etc..and in no time he started reading, words, sentences, storybooks all by himself.
By the age of 3 he was able to read stories and not only comprehend them but since he knew imaginary form of playing, pretend play, so he used to demonstrate each story by enacting it step by step.
He used to create the complete scene with his toys, household items etc.
During the storytelling process, (his demonstration of a story or a cartoon episode) he would include other people as well to be a part of it as and when required. Wherever he would require other characters like Mommy and daddy etc. He would ask us to join. He would show us the page and ask us to read our dialogues..and act..and be a part of his drama.
At first, when I learnt about it, I encouraged him more. I would purchase more and more storybooks for him and would find some toys and related stuff at home to use for his story.
Yuvaan has over 100 story books at home which he has read and enacted a thousand times.
He also has a dedicated library time(in our society clubhouse library) where he goes during his leisure time.
Besides storybooks Yuvaan likes to enact his cartoons/programs coming on the TV, YouTube, or we generally play it on Alexa, for that matter, to reduce the screen time.
So, alongwith the episides Yuvaan loves to enact scene by scene. He would use the toys, create some stuff using household items, paper, craft materials etc to create the particular scene and act.
Yuvaan has taken part in his school storytelling competitions and did quite well.
Yuvaan’s language and communication development benefitted a lot through this.
Yuvaan started using sentences and lines picked from the stories or cartoons, at correct places and situations on his own and as usual when we saw him doing that we quickly encouraged him to do that more often.
Example – 1. One day while eating his sandwich he exclaimed “The sandwich is delicious !” ;
I was surprised as I never taught him that line or never used myself, and due to pandemic we were not going anywhere or meeting anyone at that time.
This was when, he was 3 and a half, at this time he started using sentences from different stories and his cartoons but all at correct places.
(So the sandwich is delicious line he heard from Bada talks series- episode- the clean world.)
Example 2. During the same time, the Holika Dahan celebration was going on in our society, where they lit the pyre. It was the first time for Yuvaan so he was very uncomfortable and scared with the heat from the pyre as we did the parikrama.
So he asked us to go on a drive rather. Once he sat inside the car, the ac was on, he sighed “Feeling much better” !
There are numerous such examples where he could pick a line from somewhere and uses to build his conversation and to express himself, on his own, without anyone teaching him to do so.
So Yuvaan started expressing himself at the age of 3.5 was a surprise for us and I would really like to credit this to his reading and art of understanding, enacting the story and cartoons.
By that age he was able to express majority of his feelings love, anger, sad, happy, frustrated, exhausted, sleepy, tired, even hurt. Yes you read it right!
He started telling us where actually he’s hurt; initially by saying “I am hurt, put baby lotion.” Later, when he found out that we can put bandage, and sometimes can take medicines or can visit a doctor, then now he uses these remedies in his statements when he’s hurt somewhere.
Parents, it is necessary for the child to be able to tell his/her hurt because we can see and identify the external injuries but sometimes the internal ones we cannot.
There is one more instance that I would like to mention here. Once, Yuvaan told me about ulcers in his mouth which was a huge thing to be able to tell for a 3 and a half child on the spectrum. Actually, once he was unable to eat his breakfast and told me “I am hurt”, I asked him where, to which he replied “mouth”. I asked him again after unable to find anything outside that are you hurt inside the mouth to which he replied “yes.” I examined again and found out that there was a big mouth ulcer due to which he was unable to eat.
For Yuvaan he not only mentions the hurt, its place, sometimes would also tell that how he got hurt. He knows that what one should do if they got hurt. Applying lotion or bandage; take medicine, or visit a doctor, he would quickly suggest these remedies; or do it by himself as a first aid.
I am just quoting these examples, that how, this could be helpful in completely understanding child’s feeling or one concept and we can make the child independent as well, as most of the time after getting a minor hurt or something, Yuvaan applies lotion or put bandage on his own, taking out from the first aid kit. If the hurt is pretty bad like a few days back while playing Yuvaan had hurt his knee badly, so he started crying “Help me my knee Doctor, take me to the hospital.”
Trivia time :))
Guess what Yuvaan’s favorite line for him to use when he’s stuck somewhere in some situation and he doesn’t find much to express in panic. HELP! HELP!
Another one, guess, what Yuvaan does when he would want something from us, or want us to do something for him..He would come and gives hug and kisses.. and would start saying non stop his and my dialogues “Mumma, Please give me so and so thing..please..” ; “OK beta, I will give you” “Thank you” , all these dialogues he would say by himself.. :-))
Needless to say more on the benefits!
I will add to the list when I will recall more examples. Thanks for reading patiently!!