Practicing S’s

Tuesdays, I take Maura for private speech therapy.  We just started last month, but already, I see how the private speech therapist is filling in the blanks where the school speech therapist can’t always fill due to time constraints.  It’s making for a very nice balance with Maura.

Today, Maura worked on beginning S sounds.  Like stop, sticker, star.  She’s doing really well with it all.  I will admit though, I had a flashback to my speech therapy days.  And they weren’t as fun as Maura’s.

As a child, I had a horrible speech problem.  I was pretty much unintelligible for years.  I couldn’t pronounce S, Sh, Ch, J, Z’s, soft G’s and R’s.  I spent years in speech therapy getting no where.  I really hated going to speech.  I hated the drills I was supposed to do, that got me no where.  I hated how she would record my voice and then make me listen to it.  To this day, I hate hearing myself on tape, which I guess is because of that. 

Oddly enough, or not, I never heard my speech problem in my head.  In my head, I sounded like everyone else.  I knew I didn’t, but I guess I translated it. 

In eighth grade, I finally fixed the problem.  It basically took figuring out where to place my tongue correctly.  I retrained my tongue and brain to work together correctly until it become second nature.  I managed this in about three months, which in a way is impressive considering I had to learn how to form every letter in a new way and break the habits of thirteen year.  My kids speech therapists are always impressed to hear how bad my speech was as a child.  They never guess it before I tell them. 

One weird little fact – I love to sing.  But singing and mispronunciation don’t mix.  So when I was about in sixth grade, I learned how to sing without the speech problems.  So well that I auditioned for choir in 8th grade and the choir director smiled when I was done, asked me a question and then when I began to speak, the surprise on her face was evident.  I did make the choir by the way. 

I’ve gone on to have four children…who all needed some form of speech therapy.  I joked to the speech therapist at the elementary school that I was her job security.  And at the rate I gather speech knowledge, I shall be expecting my honorary degree in speech language pathology any day now, thank you very much!