Monday, June 30, 2008


N has been working on correcting his mispronunciations of late, and it's unbearably cute. For instance...Well, first I have to give a little backstory.

N, with all his sensory issues, is obsessed with chewing gum. He wants to be chewing on a piece of gum ALL THE TIME. I'm OK with that, in theory. But in reality, where he was going through two or three packs of gum a day, I wasn't so OK with that, because it meant I was constantly having to buy more gum. There was never enough in the house. So we instituted a rule: He gets five pieces of bubble gum each day, all at one time, and it's up to him how to use them. Half the time he eats them all in rapid succession and then is stuck with nothing to chew for the rest of the day. But he understands that that's his 'choice', and that he gets no more once they're gone, and he's OK with that. Sort of. He's not happy about it, but he gets it, so at least he doesn't spend the entire rest of the day saying, "Can I have another piece of gum?" "Can you get me some gum?" "I really want some gum!"

This may have been my smartest parenting move of all time. So simple, and yet so effective.

Now that it's summer, he gets his five pieces of gum after breakfast, rather than once school lets out. Which is where the mispronunciations come in. As instructed by his speech therapist, I've been gently pointing out to him the 'right' way to say certain words, by breaking them down into syllables and getting him to say each syllable in its turn. So, when he came and announced to me the other day that he'd had his "brefkist" and would like his gum now, I had him repeat "breck" and "fist" first, then gave him his gum.

Since then, he's decided that in order to get his gum, he has to figure out how to say breakfast first. "Don't give it to me if I say 'I had my brefkist,'" he scolded me the other day as I started to hand over the goods. "Only give it to me when I say, 'I had my BREK FIST.'"

As the days have worn on, he's started adding to the list. "Also, before I get my gum, I have to say 'helicopter' instead of 'heli-hock-ter,'" he informed me yesterday. And then, this morning, "And I also have to say 'vanilla' instead of 'banana.' And 'commercial' instead of 'mercercial.' I have to say ALL those words right to get my gum."

And so he did.


Green said...

He is the perfect example of how change can only come when a person wants to change.

(I sort of hope he doesn't want to change Weeyum though, because that's hella cute.)

Susan said...

I know I am way behind here, but I have to say it so so cute that he says banana for vanilla! All of the others are mispronunciations, but this is substituting an entirely different word just cracks me up!