About Me

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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Robby's Speech

Robby is in his second year of speech therapy. I have noticed vast improvement with his articulation, but perhaps that is because I am so accustomed to his patterns. To be completely honest, I have no difficulty understanding him, yet I am reminded that speech therapy is still necessary as long as others struggle to comprehend his words. In order to thwart teasing when he becomes older, we have made improving his speech clarity a priority.

The majority of Robby's speech issues stem from his hearing impairment, yet I also know that he probably inherited some of his tendencies from me. I was enrolled in speech therapy when I was Robby's age. I hated every moment I was forced to work with the therapist. Sitting in her "office" (a term which I use loosely because even I knew the space was nothing more than a converted janitor's closet) I surrendered my recess time twice a week to make my tongue move the way she demanded. I hated Tuesdays and Thursdays because I knew I would have to work with her.

For me, Speech Therapy was nothing more than repeating words written on flashcards. It was both frustrating and boring. Although I knew that Robby required therapy, I dreaded exposing him to the same lessons I endured in the quest for the perfect "r."

Thankfully, Robby loves his speech therapist. He enjoys spending time with her as they share stories and jokes. She has done something my speech therapist was never able to achieve: she has made her lessons fun and engaging!

Unbeknownst to me, Robby's was invited to make a presentation to his class. He was asked to practice all of his skills as he spoke about what makes his family special. Although I wasn't there for his speech, both his teacher and speech therapist were more than eager to fill me in when I picked him up after school.

After a brief disclaimer that he was did well, they proceeded to recount Robby's speech. This is what my little cherub told his entire class:

"My family is special. My Momom has one leg and uses a prosthetic. That's unique. My Dad doesn't have his big toe and loves pickles. My Nana has two new inside knees and smiles a lot. Grandma lives in Ohio and grows lots of beans. My Candy Papaw lives in Texas and he is a real-life cowboy. My Nana Phara dances to loud music wearing nothing but a boobie holder and people give her dollars." 

Knowing that I needed to offer some clarity into the family dynamics, I frantically began to explain Robby's interpretations. My Dad does live in Texas but is not a cowboy. He has never ridden a horse and rarely changes out of his suits on weekdays. He is the epitome of an executive. More important, and contrary to Robby's description, his wife is not a stripper. She owns a Middle Eastern restaurant which features belly dancing. Robby saw her dance and was obviously oblivious to the artistic and cultural components of the performance. 

I was unprepared to defend my family from the unintended implications of Robby's speech. Although I tried, I'm not confident that I was terribly successful. After all, some things just cannot be undone. I'm sure that Robby's presentation will be fodder for discussions in the teacher's lounge for the coming weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I am a member of your family and Robby got it right, any attempt by you to correct it is simply glossing over the truth. Nothing he said is wrong except the Cowboy part. And no, nothing bad, that is what Phara does, nothing wrong with it, it is artistic and enjoyable. Adults are the ones that are making assumptions about the statement, the kids arent. Just my opinion.