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Help for boy who wasn't taught to speak (2)

By An Baijie,Sun Ruisheng (China Daily)

09:13, May 08, 2012

Tang's grandparents, both in their 50s, could not find a job and the family has no income.

The couple is worried because they cannot teach the boy to speak, and he has begun to imitate them by expressing himself with his hands.

To develop his hearing ability, his grandmother used the mobile phone's music tone to wake him up. The grandparents also turned up the volume of the small 14-inch television, the only source of human voices in the family most of the time.

Li Shumin, a doctor who is familiar with the boy, said that now is the key time for him to develop language abilities.

"Children of Tang's age have already started to learn to speak from their parents, and he is already lagging behind," she said. "But it's not too late, if he can learn to speak as soon as possible."

His grandmother tried to send him to the local kindergarten, but he was refused enrollment because he does not have a hukou (household registration) due to his birth outside of marriage.

Li Yanping, director of the residents' committee at the residential community where the boy and his grandparents live, said community workers have appealed to the local public security bureau to give Tang the hukou.

"He is expected to go to kindergarten in the autumn semester if everything goes smoothly," she told China Daily.

A local family with a 4-year-old son learned of Tang's plight last week through a local newspaper article and decided to help. Since last Thursday they have taken him in to stay with their family and play with their son. They teach him to speak on weekdays, and he returns to his grandparents on the weekend, Li said.

The supportive family even managed to send Tang to the local kindergarten on Friday for the first time, Li said.

"He managed to say 'close the door' and 'thanks' on Friday, which made us feel quite confident about his language abilities," she said.

【1】 【2】

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