One of the biggest challenges we face with Mayor Bee is his echolalila.
echo·la·lia definition Pronunciation: /ˌek-ō-ˈlā-lē-ə/ Function: n: the often pathological repetition of what is said by otherpeople as if echoing them (echolalia. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved September 24, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/echolalia)
Which is extremely ironic, since our journey started with EI because of the fact that he was delayed in his speech. Now, of course, the big joke is that now I can’t shut him up.
I always fretted about Mayor Bee’s speech development. I kept being told, “oh he’ll come around” and “kids just develop differently.” But they didn’t understand. They didn’t walk in my shoes.
Because I had speech apraxia.
After doing the writing exercise, I really started thinking about the part of what I had always been told as a child. And, it’s quite simple: I couldn’t talk “right”. In fact, apparently I didn’t talk until I was….drumroll…three years old.
Could you imagine not really talking until you were pretty much a preschooler?
My mom was a SAHM at the time. For the first couple years of life we lived with my grandparents on the family farm. So, I was not exposed in the way B or M are in daycare. I also don’t imagine a lot of playdates either.
Also, I always conned my older sister to be my messenger (as my mom tells it). I could point to something and A (my older sis) would say, “she wants a cookie” or “she needs a drink”. So, really, it was easy to get what I wanted.
However, my mom did seek out support for my lack of talking once we moved off the farm. Then, I went to Head Start. At that time (late seventies, if you must know), my memories of Head Start seem to mirror B’s ECSE class. I went in the AM, either on a bus or my mom took me – to a school where there were other kids with different disabilities.
The difference is that Head Start is specifically geared towards low income families. We were pretty poor at the time and this provided a little boost before Kindergarten.
Once mainstreamed – I still qualified for extra services. Mine were always pull-out speech services. After Head Start I spent another SEVEN years in speech therapy. Because once I started talking, I couldn’t pronounce many sounds. Most notably, “R” sounds were “W” to me.
Needless to say, I was teased mercilessly in school. It didn’t help that I had glasses starting in Kindergarten either. I barely could open my mouth before someone in the hood would make fun of me. It was, needless to say, traumatic. I pretty much stopped talking, unless it was in class to answer a question.
Once I was a tween, and finally able to talk proper, I started coming out of my shell and was more communicative. Still, it is a huge surprise to friends in college and “later life”, since they all know me as a blabbermouth. Who, much like her son, won’t shut up. 😉
Even now, a mispronunciation still slips out. I am 36 friggin’ years old and will still say “iwon” (iron). It usually happens after about three drinks. Husband gets a chuckle, before I give him the Evil Eye From The Third Dimension.
So, I guess I will take B’s echolalia and try to work with it. Because he at least has better pronunciation.