Blathering child or language issue or what?

A few days ago, a fellow adoptive mom blogged about some language issues her son was having with English. (Her son and TM are about the same age, both from Vietnam and came home within months of each other.) After reading her post, I've been thinking a lot about TM's language and wondering if things I thought were either quirkiness or a behavioral issue are more of a language issue instead. Then, today after talking with the P. family mom about something her adopted daughter does, it makes me wonder even more.

The issue is crazy questions. We discovered that both of our children ask us crazy questions...often involving the obvious. Such as, "Are you wearing that sweater today?" as the sweater is being put on, or, "What are you doing, making a sandwich?" as the sandwich is most obviously being made. These are questions that just by observing, the answer should be plain, and none of my other children do this. (Well, sometimes, but not to the same extent and usually because they are not paying attention. It just feels different.) So does anyone else's child do this? Is it merely making conversation? Is it a control issue? (It happens all the time.) Is it just quirkiness? Because it's happening with another child who was adopted and is learning a new language, I am thinking it's not. All I know is, that when you combine constant crazy questions with some other behaviors that don't seem to be abating, it makes for a mom who is teetering on the edge. My reserves of patience of sorely depleted and I'm just not sure what's up.

The instruction manual...I just know when we signed those adoption papers there was supposed to be an instruction manual!


Angie said…
My two year old does this all the time. If I ask her to tell me what I'm doing or ask her to answer the question she generally can. I think she just wants to hear me say it. Maybe it's just to learn how to answer those questions because she doesn't hear the answer clearly in her own head. It absolutely drives me crazy, but to look at it as a language development thing makes it seem more bearable.

Sometimes I think it is just her way to engage in conversation when she doesn't have any other ideas of what to talk to me about. I think she wants to talk to me but hasn't developed enough to know what to talk about.
Lucy said…
My oldest did this to, to some extent. I usually take Angie's approach and ask them to tell me what I'm doing. It might be a verbal development issue (ie correlating concepts in words to visual concepts) or, going completely out on a limb, since I don't have any adopted kids and no experience in that area, if its excessive it might be an attachment issue, ie they are seeking reassurance of normalcy, that things really are what they seem.

Either way, I would think having them tell you what it is they see that is going on would be helpful.
D. Cook said…
Our son is 6 and was adopted from VN at 4.5 years and he does this all the time. It does make us a bit nuts some days and we don't know if it is to get things into his head or if he just needs to say everything he sees. He often speaks in non-sequiturs. I played with Tate today, there is a bird, I see a tree. We just let him go on though we wonder if we will ever be able to have a conversation with him. He often repeats things 3-5 times very close together like this morning when eating breakfast he would say" I have Y camp today" then a few minutes later the same thing after the 3rd one I said Luke we already talked about this didn't we and he said yes, I then asked him where he was going today and if he likes Y camp.
It does not seem to be so much that he can't understand the English but that to grasp/comprehend something he has to repeat it many times.
I wonder if since they already had a spoken language if the brain has to re-wire for the new language which is spoken in an entirely different way.
I agree combined with other issues this does get old and frustrating to deal with, some day we just have to stop him and tell him enough for now.
maxhelcal said…
Hi Elizabeth, I don't know if you remember me (I'm Bronte's mom). I haven't been active on here for a long time. I came across a bookmark to your blog and thought I'd see how you are doing. Last time I read, you had just given birth to the twins. Everyone is getting big. The twins are so cute!

This "issue" you write about here is very familiar to me. Our son Quinton, who was adopted from Korea at about 22 months of age does this all the time. He is 9 now. We used to joke about it when he was younger nicknaming him "Mr. Obvious". It was annoying but kinda silly so we laughed about it then. It has now evolved into other quirky/strange behaviors for us though and we are having some serious issues with him right now. Your situation may be totally different but for us with Q, it seems to be a control issue. He is also very manipulative in other ways too. I have been pulling my hair out here. We had him tested for ADHD at the recommendation of his teachers but the results were inconclusive. (I don't think he is overly hyper-active, it's more impulsive behavior) He seems to have many symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder but I am not totally sure if it's that or not. We are in the process of getting him therapy right now.

I'm in no way implying TM has an attachment issue, I just read and I am going through a lot right now with my son so I thought I'd share. All kids are different. Q has always been kinda difficult since he came home. I am at my wit's end right now. We adopted 5 of our children and he is the only child who does this kind of stuff.

I'm interested to read about others who have experienced this.
Anonymous said…
Wow am I behind on your blog!
Just wanted to pipe in and say Zeeb totally does this too. He repeats things, he asks obvious questions and he pipes in with non-sequetors. All of my kids did each of these a little, but he does them in spades. And when I stop and tell myself "It's a language thing" it makes perfect sense - but it still can be rather annoying at times.

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