September 30, 2008


We have been working on vocabulary with Hannah. We always have tried not to simplify vocabulary with our kids, but sometimes some words are just plain difficult to pronounce! Hannah has always given an exceptional effort to learn new words and rarely gets exasperated when we correct her grammar or pronunciation.

When Hannah was young, she had trouble saying "Clifford" (as in the Big Red Dog). She always said, "Kiff-lerd". We spent some time trying to correct her pronunciation. She was sure she was saying it correctly--it sounded right to her--but it always came out "Kiff-Lerd". One day she was tired of me correcting with "Clifford". So I turned the tables and said "Kiff-lerd" instead. She corrected me vehemently! "No Mom! It's not Kiff-lerd, it's 'KIFF-LERD'!!!!". We all just cracked up. Clearly she could hear the difference, but she just couldn't say it!

Does that make any sense? It's probably one of those "you had to be there" things.

Now that she can read well, we can always write out a difficult word so she can see the letters and sounds.

Here is another vocabulary story. Hannah was in a speech clinic at a local university (relatively poor quality SLP grad school). Her graduate student therapist was diligent, but really hadn't learned much about how to keep a kid on task. Hannah was about 6 or 7 years old. She was not yet at ease with the therapist, but was in a honeymoon period where she was quiet and polite. It was boring for her.

This particular day, Hannah was distracted due to hiccups. The therapist hadn't noticed yet. She had asked Hannah to repeat something. Hannah responded with an unexpected loud weird hiccup! The therapist cheerfully said, "What was that?" Hannah quietly replied, "Oh, excuse me, that was just my trachea."

Now she doesn't always speak so clearly. Some of our favorite jumbled pronunciations are:
sausages= sost-jeh-jez
Roosevelt= Rosabell

The weird thing is that usually her mixed up pronunciations are usually more difficult to say than the actual word!

Sometimes though, she surprises us.

Yesterday she got in trouble with me because she was moving so slowly, not wanting to do what I told her to do. (Why does she go even slower when I tell her to hurry up? It torments me!!) Today, while getting schoolwork ready on the table, she volunteered, "It's okay, Mom. I won't loiter today."

I know where she learned the word "loiter", and it wasn't from one of us! It's from "Suessical the Musical"--at the end of the show, Horton is arrested for loitering on an egg. We saw a summer production of the show, and later downloaded the Broadway soundtrack. She's addicted to it and has it nearly memorized. I am glad that she's learning something useful from the repeated listenings!


All 4 My Gals said...

Those are precious stories! Thanks for sharing them. ;)

Anonymous said...

Teddy Roosebell had sausgiges for breafixt!

straight from Brandy Oaks Road...