At the moment our team of fabulous speechies are screening and assessing the speech and language of nearly 700 early years Tasmanian school children. These little people, forming and growing, never fail to delight. Every one of them is magnificent.

The team are flowing with stories of the cute and clever things they say and do. Some of us are completely blown away by the progress they have made with their speech, language, and literacy since we assessed them a year ago. (I for one just can’t get the smile off my face.)

These kiddos! In the growth of their language, they’re drawing into themselves the power they need for a life of choice.

Here’s my Story of the Day.

(And can I say that last year’s Prep teacher and teams quite clearly had such gracious, tenacious, and kind influence on these lovely children.)

I was reassessing the spoken language of five of the now-Grade-1 children previously diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder, Phonological Processing Difficulties, and Speech Sound Disorder.

I delivered a test in which I asked them this question in response to a picture of a woman putting a girl’s gumboots on: ‘What is the mother going to do?’.

They variously responded with statements such as: “Put her boots on”; “Her a girl boots on.”; “Helping the kid putting on her boots.”

Then the next question in the task is: ‘What will the girl do after her mum puts her boots on?’

And… independently of each other and not in ear shot, they all said:

“Say ‘thank you’.”

I will just say here that we expect to elicit something more like ‘Play in the mud’.

But wait there’s more…

The next question is: ‘If you were the mother, what would you say to the girl?’

And they all said – sans none:

“You’re welcome”.

Devoted teachers and loving parents, you leave your legacy in the social awareness and skills of your little charges! Three cheers to you all as you craft respect, gratitude, and other-mindedness, in these tiny, funny, beautiful people… who will inherit the earth.