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My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whatcha sayin'?

My life has been oddly calm lately, except for the usual kid-related stuff ("NO! I am NOT sitting next to her!" "NO! I am NOT ready for school yet!" "I JUST got on the computer! You can't make me get off yet!"). About the only notable thing right now is our decision to have our youngest evaluated for possible speech therapy.

His speech is a little odd. His sentence construction is unusual, almost as if English were his second language (currently, it's his ONLY language). For instance, he leaves out certain words, as if they are superfluous ("I not want to do that" instead of "I DO not want to do that"). He sometimes puts adjectives after nouns, the way you do in Spanish ("Remember our house white?"). I'd love to think that he does this because I read to him every night in Spanish, but I REALLY doubt it, since he doesn't actually TALK in Spanish. Hmmm...

When he's excited and trying to talk fast, he is especially prone to these kinds of mistakes and his teacher claims that it's affecting his social life (are little kids really that picky? I guess so.). He consistently misuses pronouns (she for he, his for her, etc.). That, I suspect, isn't that unusual. Some of his pronunciation is difficult to understand as well. He often uses "f" for the "th" sound, which I also think is pretty darn normal for his age. He will tell you he's "hayving," when he means to say he's "behaving." He apparently hears the word as two words -- be hayv -- which, if you think of it, makes some sense, since we often use the word "be" before other words, such as "be good". He insists that we live in "gene," because he hears "Eugene" as "YOU Gene," and I think he (logically) figures that the "you" part is somehow part of the sentence "You live in You Gene". Still, these kinds of mistakes, collectively, mean that his speech is odd and he sounds like a younger-than-he-is child (almost five).

He also uses the word "'cause" instead of "because" ("I want you to play with me 'cause I not have a friend to play with!"). In addition, he has some charming ways of saying things that we've never bothered to correct because they ARE so cute: "Icky Donald's" for instance is "McDonald's". Who would want to correct that?! Perhaps we should, however, if such mistakes are affecting him socially.

I say all this because I just finished completing the at-home assessment, where he performed almost perfectly (although abysmally on the fine motor portion and letter and number recognition -- gotta work on that!). I can pretty much guarantee that if he does this well when being assessed, the evaluator will think, 'Why the hell do these parents and teachers think he has a speech problem?' Apparently, he is CAPABLE of near-perfect speech, but chooses not to use it consistently. The little bugger.

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