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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.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Cotillion Teasing

With the wonky weather this past weekend we didn't do anything of consequence.  Timmy and I played with trains for what felt like an eternity. For a little boy who is a thrill seeker, I am amazed at his focus when trains come out to play. He becomes an intent little engineer, purposefully connecting and pushing them through various tunnels and over and around obstacles. I don't really understand his delight with trains, but I have come to accept that he loves them and thoroughly enjoys my filling the role of assistant engineer. 

When I wasn't busy with trains I was on the internet, scouring for speech therapy options for Robby. In the days since the Cotillion Ball he revealed that he was teased both during the classes and at the dance because of his speech and hearing impairment. It hurts me to my core to know that he is being made fun of for something that is entirely out of his control. The fact that he was teased during a course that was supposed to instill manners and etiquette is an irony with which  I am still trying to grapple.

I cannot fix Robby's hearing, but we are going to do our best to augment his speech. As a family, we have decided to double down on therapy to try to hasten improvement with his articulation issues. After research and talking with some specialists, we have decided to proceed with Skype speech therapy. As he is getting older, I know that the opportunity for teasing will only increase. We are going to be enrolling him in an intensive program to try to minimize the issue before middle school (gulp).

Scott and I are walking a fine line between supporting Robby's speech endeavors without making him feel inadequate for having an issue. My normally secure little Koopa has become sensitive about his speech differences. More than one time we have stopped him from skewed self- assessments. Every time I hear him refer to himself as "stupid" or "dumb" I want to wrap him in a bubble and remind him that he is perfect to me. I know that isn't what he needs to hear, especially at ten years old, so instead we acknowledge that he has trouble making some letter sounds while discussing his many cool talents and abilities.

While I expect that he may always have some mild articulation issues, I'm optimistic that we can normalize his letter sounds in the coming weeks. Through intensive "speech boot camp" I'm hoping that Robby will hear progress and take pride in the fact that he is tackling an issue head on. He is a strong, smart and caring young man. Together, we're going to tackle those silly /r/, /s/ and /y/ sounds.

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