Thursday, March 5, 2009

Talk Slowly

Being the fifth kid of seven, you learn to hold your own, and talking fast is essential if you want to get a word in edgewise. I have a natural talent for talking fast, but lately I have discovered that I need to tone it down a bit. My Miriam is such an awesome talker, she's fast like me and some of the phrases she says are comical genius. Tobie and Emma on the other hand seem to be having a difficult time keeping up with me and now they have suffered.

Tobie has been struggling with a stutter, which has increased since he started the 1st Grade. I have been thinking that there is stress from school that is causing it, which there may be because during the Christmas break he didn't have any stuttering, and then it started back up when school was back in. So I don't take FULL responsibility, but now I know how I have contributed. On Sunday I got a little insight as to how my fast talking is effecting him. He began to tell me a story about something that happened at school. He was stuttering on every single word and laughing in between because it was a funny story, and I couldn't understand one word of it. I did something that you should never do to a kid with a stutter, I cut him off and told him to calm down, think about his words and then start again slowly. I could tell immediately that I hurt his pride. I had embarrassed him, and he stopped talking all together. I began to apologize over and over, and asked him to start again. He refused and then said something that put things in a different perspective for me. He said, "How come I can't talk as fast as you, Mommy?". I looked at Theo, and he looked at me and said, "You do talk fast.". It had never occurred to me that my talking fast is what Tobie was trying to accomplish and by doing so was stressing him out and causing him to stutter.

Emma has a delay in her speech. She is 29 months, but has the speech ability of a 21 month old. She has been meeting with a Speech Therapy weekly for 4 weeks now and is slowly making progress. Lisa (Speech Therapist) comes every Wednesday after Miriam gets home from pre-school. Yesterday I discussed with Lisa my fast speech and she agreed that it makes it harder for Emma to know when one word ends and another begins. Miriam asked for some play-doh, but it came out like this, "canihavesomeorangeplaydoh". I understood what she wanted, but Lisa told me this is fast speech and it's hard for Emma to emulate her also.

We discussed my fast talking and Tobie's stuttering and I came to the conclusion that I need to start talking more slowly. This is really difficult for me, something that I am really going to have to be consciously aware of when talking around my kids. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it before Hannah starts trying to talk. I would feel really bad if 3 out of 4 had problems because I tend to talk to fast.


The Lemon Family said...

as i am reading this i was chuckling to myself remembering many a conversations we have do talk fast but i must too a bit because i always understood you...I am sorry that the kids are having problems but you are a GREAT mother and are patient and loving and they will work through this because of your love for them...don't blame yourself

Anonymous said...

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Conferences in recent years have included such keynote speakers as Vice President Joe Biden, Arthur Blank (Owner, Atlanta Falcons), Adrian Peterson (Chicago Bears), Annie Glenn, John Melendez and John Stossel. They all shared truly amazing stories.

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Kara and Theo said...

Sweet, when you get back to Alabama I'll help you practice that slow
speech. I bet all your friends are surprised to learn that you were
reared in LA. HA. Love to you......Daddy