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A creative in the making

Updated: May 31, 2020

Speech therapy image, age 3


A family friend watches a little girl play pretend by herself, muttering and garbling

away in a non-sensical manner, her imagination running wild. Crouched down in

the garden, she digs up soil, fills it with water, sculpts mud, and collects stones and

twigs. A Barbie doll is placed lying down by the muddy puddle and a plastic toy

crocodile is dropped into the water.

The family friend watches intently as the girl slurs and jumbles up her words as she

quite happily plays. He cannot understand a lot of what she is saying. Surely at this

age she should be able to string together whole sentences? Although her parents don’t

seem to be phased, they even join in on the conversation as if it was normal?

Having visited frequently, the family friend started to recognise the association between

words and certain objects that the family used. When the girl wanted a raspberry

drink she would say rebo. And when her parents wanted to know whether

she wanted a raspberry drink then they would say rebo? Together they constructed

a world and within this world they conversed in their own language, the only language

the girl ever knew. So the family friend started associating these words with

these particular objects, so that he too could communicate with the little girl. Thinking

back to that sunny day watching the girl play, suddenly everything became quite clear.


I’m hypeb up on rebo and left to run wilb in the backyarb. Here I finbs a clearing

in the garben. I degin to construct a lake and forest where Dardie takes holibays.

Nestled in the warm birt amongst the flowers I make Dardie stroll along a coddled

path detween the trees, past the sculptures and to the lakesibe. It is a deautiful bay

to lay bown and soak up the summer rays. What dardie boesn’t know, is that lurking,

beep bown in the dottom of the lake is a ferocious docwar…….


Usually by 6 months of age an infant babbles or produces repetitive syllables

such as “ba, ba, ba” or “da, da, da.” Babbling soon turns into a type of nonsense

speech called jargon that often has the tone of human speech but does not contain

real words. By the end of their first year, most children have mastered the

ability to say a few simple words. By 18 months of age most children can say 8

to 10 words and, by age 2, are putting words together in crude sentences such

as “more milk.” At ages 3, 4, and 5 a child’s vocabulary rapidly increases, and he

or she begins to master the rules of language. (National institute of deafness and

communication disorders, NIDCD, 2007)

I however did not master this.

It was drawing and creativity that became my source of communication. Looking back on it now I realise this is why I am who I am. This is why I create.

The hut in the bush, where I spent the developing years of my life most days, offered a practical environment for hands on learning. All information about space and objects were delivered to me through visual and physical experience. As the oldest child, much of that first space was spent

exploring alone. I was immersed in my own creative imaginary land where I had my own language and my own friends. Outside of this land I needed to be able to communicate and no one could understand me apart from my parents. When I was able to put pen to paper and draw.......suddenly people understood!

This is what got me through years of speech therapy! I would draw an image and my therapist would pick certain words from the image that I would focus on articulating.

After years of speech therapy and many interpreted images later, here I am.....

Starting a blog.

Creating. Communicating. Writing.




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