Besides all of the wonderful care Noah is getting from his teacher and SLT, just being in a new place has done amazing things for Noah's vocabulary. Walking from the apartments to school each day Noah sees palm trees, an emergency phone, a security keypad, scaffolding, and a homeless man. Each new experience is an opportunity to learn more language.
After the first week at JTC we headed to Disneyland for a day of rides and meeting some of Noah's favorite characters. There wasn't a whole lot of new vocabulary to learn (since he already knows everything there is to know about all the Disney movies) but he really enjoyed conversing about some of his favorite topics with many of the cast members there.
Thanks to a very generous John Tracy donor, Noah learned a ton of new language at his first baseball game. He is now quite the Dodgers fan and has been singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "We Will Rock You" quite regularly. It was hard for Noah to see the action of the game, but that just made him more eager to learn new language so that we could describe things for him.
We spent much of this past weekend at two of the museums in Exposition Park. At the Natural History Museum Noah learned all about camouflage and mimicry during an "animal talk" and had lots of practice with his listening skills as I described the upcoming animal for him to guess in the galleries. He was really good at guessing most of the standard animals but needed pretty detailed hints before he was able to guess others (apparently Noah best knows opossums for lying dead on the side of the road).
The best part of the California Science Center for Noah was definitely the dress up rooms. He used some of his emerging conversational skills while playing "TV studio" "rocket" and "forest" with other kids. Noah also learned lots of new vocabulary thanks to the "Ecosystems" exhibit. There were so many hands on things to see and do and he loved every minute of it.
We're now into our final week at the JTC and I'm wishing we could stay longer. I can't imagine where Noah would be now if he had spent the last 3 years at a school like this one, and I know that I will be a better parent and advocate because of the things I've learned. I'm forever grateful to Mrs. Tracy for her vision and for all of the donors who keep the programs running.