I am writing to apply for the job on Internets Stalker, as advertised in ********* on ********.
As a fan of the Internets, I am a skilled user of mainstream and lesser known stalking services, such as Facebook, Foursquare, luring people to meet me on OKCupid, using my SKILLZ to get their mobile numbers and freak them out, and getting people to reveal themeselves as THREATS TO OUR WAY OF LIFE by monitoring comments and retweets of suspicious images that criticize the Government, like the one below.
I’m putting together a post for Mental Health Awareness Week next month, for Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided. Not sure what I’m going to end up with – it could be experiences of therapy, or life, of medications, or acting out and self-medicating (could be an exciting ride).
I have chunks. Chunks from different periods of time.
From High School, from the HSC, from Uni. From last weekend, from last night.
From my seventh birthday.
From less pin-pointable childhood moments. Fuzzy. Sad, fearful, confused.
Unable to label.
From starting therapies and medications.
(The horror of admitting I needed help from these, that I couldn’t just will myself out of it)
Including shame at failing at things like work, or therapy, or relationships, or loving myself.
Moments of tears and laughter. Regression. Helplessness.
Disjointed and unclear, but vivid too.
All parts of my existence. Rejecting parts and re-embracing them.
On paper. To certain songs that are my soundtrack.
can’t you do it for me, i’ll pay you well
fuck i’ll pay you anything if you could end this
can’t you just fix it for me, it’s gone berserk…
fuck i’ll give you anything if
you can make the damn thing work
can’t you just fix it for me, ill pay you well,
fuck ill pay you anything
if you can end this
hello, i love you will you tell me your name?
hello, i’m good for nothing – will you love me just the same? dresden dolls – perfect fit
Went on a bit of an adventure (or epic journey) on Monday to go to Bowral for a job interview.
ZOMG check it out, it’s a paper ticket!
Reasoning with myself that the $8.60 in train fare was about half of what the TOLL ROADS would cost me to get there, let alone petrol and having to stay awake for the journey, I got to Fassifern before 6am for the three trains there and three trains back.
Settled in for a nap on the first leg, hoping all my connections would line up – which they did! Including the revelation that “Panania” is a place, and that people get excited to be getting on diesel trains, especially oldies on their excursion tickets who ignore the “quiet carriage” signage.
The interview was a couple of kilometres walk from the station, but as you see my feet were prepared (with heels to slip into on arrival!)
Springtime has certainly hit! With the gardens and wildflowers (weeds! and wanderers!) blooming
I got a tad pink from the sun, but it was lovely to be out :)
I had a latish lunch at Janecks Cafe and Bar
Courgette and Haloumi fritters (all day breakfast menu – $17) and a lovely local Riesling!
All fuel for the epic journey home…
Janeks Cafe and bar
4/14 Wingecarribee St Bowral NSW 2576
(02) 4861 4414
Babies are born communicating. Their cries and coos speak volumes. However, much-anticipated first words do not appear until 12 months later. By 18 months, the average child says about 50 words. By the time a child is ready to start school, their vocabulary will be an estimated 2,300 to 4,700 words.
Speech and language development takes time. Speech gradually becomes easier to understand; language gradually becomes more sophisticated.
Problems arise when speech and language milestones are not met. Left untreated, children who start school with speech and language difficulties face an increased risk of reading and writing difficulties, more bullying, poorer peer relationships and less enjoyment of school. So, what should parents expect of children at different ages?
‘Normal’ speech and language development
During the early years a child learns language – that is, converting thoughts and emotions into words. A child also learns speech – that is, figuring out the mouth movements needed to make speech sounds in words and deciphering the rules for how those sounds combine to form words.
For instance, children learning English learn that you can start a word with three consonants, but that the first consonant must be s, the second consonant p, t or k and the third consonant l, r, w or j as in splash, street and square.
By 24 months, a child should have at least 50 words and should be putting two words together. These two-word utterances should form basic sentences to request actions (“mummy up”), request objects (“more milk”) and make comments (“big ball”).
The child should also understand a range of words and follow simple commands (“Where’s your nose?” “Where’s Amy’s tummy?”). Approximately 50% of a 24-month-old’s speech should be understood by an unfamiliar listener.
Speech errors such as substituting easy speech sounds for more difficult sounds (saying “wook” for “look”), omitting sounds in words (saying “poon” for “spoon”) and deleting entire syllables (saying “getti” for “spaghetti”) are typical of this age.
Between 24 and 36 months, a child’s speech and language ability should show rapid growth. By 36 months, 75% of what a child says should be understood by an unfamiliar listener.
By 48 months, a child should be talking in much longer, grammatically correct sentences. The child should be joining sentences using words such as “and” and “because”.
As many parents will be able to confirm, children can ask an average of 107 questions an hour including: what, where, who, whose, why and how? A four-year-old should be able to explain recent events. However, they may struggle with some elements, particularly those involving time. “When” questions can be difficult for a child to answer.
Familiar two- and three-step instructions (“wash your hands and dry them”) as well as less routine-bound instructions (“show me the monkey sitting under the chair”) should be understood. Speech should be 100% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener by 48 months.
Errors such as “poon” for “spoon” should have disappeared. Some speech sounds may still be difficult: particularly “r” and “th”, so that “rabbit” may still be pronounced as “wabbit” and “thumb” may be pronounced as “fum”.
If your two-year-old isn’t talking, or your four-year-old’s speech is difficult to understand, seek the advice of a speech pathologist. Do not wait until your child starts school to seek help. Children can have better outcomes if they receive help before they start school.
Vocabulary and long-term outcomes
The amount and types of words addressed to children in the home from a young age correlates with their growing vocabulary. In an interesting longitudinal study of 42 children and their families, two researchers observed children at home once a month for an hour for 2 ½ years.
When they analysed their data according to family socio-economic status (upper socio-economic status, middle/lower socio-economic status and welfare) they noticed that the average child from a family on welfare heard 616 words per hour, the average child from a middle/lower socio-economic status (working class) family heard 1,251 words per hour while the average child from an upper socio-economic status (professional) family heard 2153 words per hour. When they extrapolated their results over four years of experience, they found that:
the average child in a professional family would have accumulated experience with almost 45 million words
an average child in a welfare family would have accumulated experience with 13 million words.
Children should be seen and heard, and engaged in conversation from a young age. If you are concerned about your child’s speech or language development, seek the advice of a speech pathologist.
Elise Baker has received funding from the Australian Research Council, and the New South Wales Department of Education. She works for The University of Sydney. She is affiliated with Speech Pathology Australia.
Natalie Munro has received funding from NSW SPELD. She works for The University of Sydney. She is affiliated with Speech Pathology Australia.