Ouch.. my speech hurts!

I’m on cloud 9, a package I’ve ordered from the States a month ago has FINALLY arrived! I was eagerly waiting for it all month, literally counting the minutes. I’ve actually sent the company 2 emails requesting an explanation for the delay! Well, I’m sure you ALL (without exceptions) start counting down the minute you press the “order” button for an online purchase. It takes your patience to the limits, to the point of mental breakdown for some people, really! Don’t we all LOVE packages?

Anyway, the package is from “The Stuttering Foundation“, they have amazing stuff, ones that make your mouth drool and your eyes glitter. I hope you never need such material, ever Inshallah… I do need them, because I’m in love with speech disorders, I actually have a crush on stuttering! The knowledge of it and the therapy of it. If you’ve been surfing my blog long enough, you’d notice that I’m a Speech therapist, I may not be the best I admit but I work with passion, it makes me happy….and satisfied.  

Just imagine the two scenarios (in an attempt to give you a taste of how parents end up in my clinic) :

A new baby is born, physical abnormalities (a health condition like a heart defect, or more obvious like a missing limb) are noticed on-spot by specialists and treated accordingly. Right away, parents start their grieving process from denial to acceptance.  The child receives medical attention instantly and intervention pathway is all set, it’s all standard. In developed/ing countries parents may have all the counselling they need even before they actually care to memorise the “medical term” of that physical disability.

On the other hand, when the problem is “invisible” or rather “gradually inclining” like speech, it’s a totally different story. Take “stuttering” for example, the developing child will never come to say: “Mama, ouch.. my speech hurts”, a parent has to have speech detecting capabilities to notice that her child speaks somewhat different than his peers. Next, with all the reassurance a parent gets from the grandparent, the uncle, the housemaid, the neighbour and also the random lady who happened to observe the child speak and generously gave a healing recipe of garlic, some cardamom and a dash of fresh turmeric powder for the definite cure. The child either lives with his speech impediment until something more dramatic happens for the parent to pursue their investigations. Or maybe the more “active” parent chooses to ignore the reassurance received and makes it to the Paediatrician. Now if the parent has met a too-much-know Dr. (there are a lot of them by the way), the parent gets even more reassurance and heads back home, thanks God and sleeps, the child is left to suffer for the rest of his life. Or the Dr. happens to be the down-to-earth type, realises his limitations and refers the child to a speech therapist, and that’s where the rescue comes in!

This is just a perfect scenario, the stories of how the parent ends up knocking my door are intriguing, to say the least. I guess you’ve realised by now the choices a parent has to make  or the chances a parent has to encounter before they start knocking my door. It’s not a straight forward nor a standard journey.  

Whatever pathway the parent has chosen to take, he/she are not to be blamed. With an “invisible” handicap, by that I mean not physical, or one that is not necessarily perceived as a disorder by everyone, the parent is left to discover, evaluate and sometimes even attempt to treat on their own, of course only to grieve their failures when their humbly chosen methods do not work. It’s traumatising for the parent and for the child alike.

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10 Comments

  1. September 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Wow, from what you’ve written it sounds like a very interesting subject. Have you always been interest in it?
    I totally get the whole package thing! I just ordered 2 books last week and keep checking to see if they’ve arrived!

  2. September 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Salam!

    Interesting indeed, especially how big the range of “medical” specialties is! And it’ll keep growing!

    What do you mean when by a “different” way a child speaks? Would you count pronouncing “s” as “sh” and “r” as “l” for toddlers?

  3. Nadia said,

    September 8, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Great Post! What was actually ‘in’ the package?

  4. Sweety said,

    September 8, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I Enjoyed this post!

    Thank you for sharing… please share more whenever you can and yeay…what was IN the package!! I enjoyed the website 9ara7a … very nice way of presenting issues 🙂

  5. um3azzan said,

    September 8, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    and there is the extra worrying mother, who keeps asking her sister to check how her son speaks .. just in case early intervention is needed :p

    I guess, it all falls down to awareness and also to your acceptance that something might be wrong with your child. Some parents refuse to accept that even when its visible.

  6. Alisha said,

    September 9, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Informative and interesting post. I am also curious to know what exactly was there in the package. 😀

  7. Shahrazad said,

    September 11, 2009 at 12:28 am

    I’m sorry for my late reply, I’m away..in the UK and the internet prices are a rip-off in this hotel:|

    @Sara: I was introduced to speech therapy when my little brother had a road traffic accident which gave him a severe head injury, affecting his physical and speech abilities. You can read abt it here: https://thoughtreservoir.wordpress.com/2009/05/19/why-speech-therapy/

    @Hamed: depending on the age. Up to 6 years, /r/ to /l/ is OK! /s/ to /sh/ is not very common, it’s usually /s/ to /th/. Sometimes we need to check the articulators or the speech related organs to check they’re alright before any attempt to treat.

    @Nadia, Sweety and Alisha: the package contained a magic lollypop, you give it a child and there all speech problems disappear, naah kidding! 😀 It had 17 books and 6 DVDs, all stuttering-related, I bet it’s not as exciting for you as it is for me 😀

    @Um3azzano: LOL.. it’s ok, it’s good to ask and know 🙂 Don’t worry about that much, I’m keeping an eye on my nephew’s speech :p
    You’re right, some parents refuce to accept, and on the other hand others who would not accept you telling them “it’s all normal”..

  8. Um Muhanad said,

    September 19, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Interesting, and lool i thought really there r magic lolipops do the job hehehe..

    knowing u make me imagine when a parents enter ur office and ask for advice.. ur way in explaining, im sure by that point u make them believe in u coz mashalla i always loved the way u explain and do ur work with passion 😀

    Missing u soo much :*

    • Shahrazad said,

      September 27, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you Um Muhanad 🙂
      See, blog is a good way to receive praise and complements from close people, I never knew you think I’m good at explaining 😀 I’m flattered…

  9. Lgirl said,

    November 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I know I’m posting on an older post. My daughter had sudden onset Stuttering at the age of 3 (she was an early talker). Complete with a foot stomp crutch. It was heartbreaking to watch and still brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. With 4 years of speech therapy she controlled her issues and along we went with life. I learned last year that she avoids certain words because she knows they get stuck. (K sounds mainly) Now she’s 13 and instead of stuttering she just stops talking and dismisses the thought with an “oh forget it”. She’s an extremely intelligent child and is terrible to watching this affliction get her her way. I\m curious if I should be getting her back into therapy.

    Anyway I want that Magic lollipop!


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