04 June 2010

O I C D BD ii

(Translation: "Oh, I see the beady little eyes.")

As you have no doubt noticed, I have completely lost my blogging mojo.  However, I love my blog and have no desire to stop blogging.  For this reason, on Tuesday night I wrote a few posts and scheduled them to drip into your Readers for the next few days.  I hope you enjoyed them.  I did.

Now, I've been meaning to write down a few Speech Files stories.

I remember the time I was working in a very small country district with a little boy who was quite difficult to understand.  Even though he was very quiet, he always tried his best in therapy.  There were many times when I didn't understand him, but I tried to keep the communication positive and give him some good experiences communicating.

One day, we were doing a therapy session in a quiet spot in the school library.  The day was getting hotter and the doors and windows of the small country school library were all open to let in the breeze.

During the therapy session, my little student said the longest sentence he'd ever said.  Joy!  I saw an opportunity to give him some positive reinforcement in the way of an actual conversation, but honestly, I had no idea what he'd just said.  His speech contained so many errors I couldn't even guess.

I asked him to repeat what he'd said, and he did.  Again, I desperately searched my brain for some context that would help me guess at a few of the words he said, but to be frank, I still couldn't imagine what he'd said.

I hate doing this, but I really wanted to have the conversation so I asked the little guy once more to help me understand what he'd said.  And again, I was lost for a translation.

Then I did something that I don't do anymore.  I pretended I understood him.  Perhaps now, with a few more years experience I would say I was sorry but I didn't understand him.  Maybe I would sheepishly suggest that "my ears weren't working", but I wouldn't pretend I understood something I didn't.  This is because I know now that your white lies will find you out.

I turned back to the speech work, and something on the floor caught my eye.  A small black head with beady little eyes was looking up at me and my brain jumped to the instantaneous conclusion that it always jumps to when I see small heads with beady eyes looking at me - SNAKE!

I screamed!  No, not a little "Eek!"  A convincing scuh-REAM!"

In the next split second, I'd realised it wasn't a snake but a magpie that had wandered in through the open door.   Not only had I disgraced myself by screaming at a little black bird, but I'd let on to my speech student that I'd lied about understanding him.

With the benefit of sudden context and a pretty good auditory memory, I realised that the little mite had been patiently telling me "A bird is in the room."

As his speech improved over the years, I hope he told the story of the silly speech lady who jumped a foot in the air and screamed when she saw the magpie, despite being adequately warned of its presence.

I would deserve that.


John Ross said...

Oh yeah, I have those with my son, 6, all the time. He has a very nice speech therapist at school. Sometimes he does get exasperated trying to get through to me. It doesn't help that I have very loudly ringing tinitus. Sometimes he just gives up and says "Never-minnnndddd".

And yeah, pretending to understand can definitely get you in trouble.

Mamma has spoken said...

Honey, this is a time when you needed to have worked on 'total communication' with that kid ;o)

veiledturnip said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing your 'disgraceful' moment. :)

Crazy Sister said...

"Oh... you mean it's RIGHT NEXT TO ME, not just somewhere in the room! Sure, I understood you..."