Thursday, September 23, 2004

Speak up!

We switched my daughter's speech therapy from school to private this year -- fewer classroom pull-outs, more control -- and her sessions are revolving much less around academic speech and articulation and more on social speech and expressiveness. That's a direction I'm happy with. Although her language delays still cause her trouble in school, she's making good solid progress and probably learns more from reading and doing than drilling. But all the little niceties of social speech -- expressions, tone of voice, body language -- don't often find their way into an IEP, and can make a big difference in how a child is perceived by her peers and teachers. Any increase in spontaneity and emotion in her language, whether it's to use a common cliche, give a wave, react visibly, or speak informally, will increase her comfort level with talking and other people's comfort level with her. That's the theory, anyway, and although she admits to being uncomfortable with some of the expressiveness we're impressing on her, she's agreed to try to find her way through it. It's interesting to note, though, that the one emotion she has no problem expressing, with full range of vocal tone, slang and gestures, is teenage frustration. "You just don't get it!" she'll huff with flung arms, stomping feet, rolled eyes, tossed head, and all manner of adolescent attitude. If she could be half that expressive in any other area of her life, we'd be on to something.

No comments: