Pwonouncing Wuhds is Hawd

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, looking though his bible: “And there are the wise men, bringing Jesus a treasure box and gold and Frankenstein.”

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My mom read V a book the other day called Hooway for Wodney Wat about a rat who can’t pronounce his r’s and is made fun of at school.  V thought it was hilarious.  At the end, my mom asked him what was so funny about the book and he said, “Because he kept saying his name was Wodney when it is actually WODney!”

I’ve been a bit concerned about Vincenzo’s articulation for quite a while.  He’s almost six and can’t pronounce the sounds r, l, sh and th, and his j and ch are a little sketch.  We finally got him evaluated and yes, he does qualify for speech therapy so we’ll have him going a couple times a week until he can pronounce things like, oh, say, his own name and whatnot.

I feel funny calling it “speech therapy,” though.  I think therapy is heading in the direction of the words “idiot” and “special” and “retarded,” which started innocently enough but then turned into insults.  I kind of want to call it “speech help” instead, but that feels too much like telling your kid he didn’t lose the baseball game if he tried his best, when in actuality he did lose the baseball game.  So “speech therapy” it is.

Anyway, the day of the speech eval, we tucked V in bed and talked about our highs and lows of the day.  His high: “It was at the speech place when even though I got some sounds wrong, I got most of them right.  I really did—I know most of the sounds!”

If that’s not optimism, I don’t know what is.

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10 thoughts on “Pwonouncing Wuhds is Hawd

  1. Maya (almost 5)can’t say an R to save her life and has never has been able too. We already had her in speech therapy for stuttering about a year ago. The stuttering is gone, thank goodness, but I see more therapy in our future for the R’s! I think it’s totally normal. the little girl across the street is almost 8 and can’t say her R’s either. Oh well! Good luck!

  2. Darn those Rs and ths. You are getting him the “therapy” that he needs and that is all that matters. At least he won’t get teased for not being able to say all his r, l, sh, th, j, and ch sounds down the road.

  3. The word “therapy” is not the insult. The insult is your implication that to you this word carries a stigma. My son goes to speech therapy – and to occupational therapy and to physical therapy. It helps him improve his pronounciation, his balance, his ability to grasp with a weaker right hand. Why is it that I never think of him as a Specially Retarded Idiot? Oh, right – because he’s not.

    I read your blog frequently, and I’ve never thought of you as the kind of mom who isn’t smart enough to think her way out of a casual insult. Especially not after reading Angelo’s story. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones that are diminishing your good judgment.

    You have terrific kids. Congratulations on your “one on the way.”

  4. Melissa, thank you for your thoughts. I hope if you have read my blog that long that you understand most of what I write on here is meant to get a smile out of people or make them think…I’m sorry that you took such offense at something meant to do both of those.

  5. Rachel, I love you and I totally get the “special” thing. Brent can’t say his name either and until recently he really didn’t talk. This fall he starts preschool at age three. His “special” preschool is through the NSD and it is for speech articulation. He qualified to attend 4 days a week (the max). I am greatful that help exists but am admittedly a little sad to be sending my baby to school so young. Isn’t it great that we have so many programs out there to help our kids thrive?!?

  6. I wish there was a “LIKE” button for return comments cause I would totally like yours. I get you Mrs. Mouthy (the clue is even in the title of your blog).

    And yes, I like his optimism.

  7. Allie has been going to OT for almost a year now. We were told she has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which is causing a multitude of random problems, most likely caused by all of the ear infections and the extended inflamation in her inner ear at an early age. It bothered Zach to put her in OT more than it bothered me because of the stigma he has in his brain around “therapy”. He also does not want her to use it as a crutch for not being able to do things. I like to think of it as a way to “explain thing.” We have had a few hot dicsussions over it, and while I see his point, I think it is more important for her to realize someone is out there to help her and there is more than one way to do things. Also, if therapy makes things less frusterating for her and helps the big and little things click faster, why struggle for an extended period of time? I am glad there is help for her and actually like the extra input. ideas and games. She just recently started calling it therapy. She has been telling kids and school and others knows, she goes the Ms Stepahnie because she helps her do things in a way mommy and daddy don’t know how. There is less of a stigma with therapy now, then there was when we were kids, but know where you are coming from. Therapy it is, and it realy does help! 🙂

  8. Well put, Jen! I’ve only recently gotten comfortable telling people I go to therapy (I still see my grief therapist, though now that Angelo is a couple years behind me she’s really just a therapist therapist). I love what you say about not wanting the kids to use it as a crutch.

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