Friday, October 15, 2010

In Which Worlds Collide

So our dear son Yaakov has a bit of an "r" problem. Or as he would say, an "awww" pwoblem. We've noticed this for a while. We tried our usual parenting strategy of ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Unfortunately, this has not yet yielded results.

However, through the weird and wonderful world of blogging, I happen to know a speech therapist. This is Baila, whom some of you know as www.illcallbaila.blogspot.com. She is a fellow Modiin blogger and accidentally stumbled across aliyahbyaccident (is there any other way to do it? Have we ever been found on purpose? Discuss.), and became a Loyal Reader. So I figured I would give her a call, since that seems to be what people do to Baila. And last night, she came over to meet with Yaakov and check out his awwws. Although she told me she doesn't do the therapy herself, she could give me her professional opinion and recommend someone if she felt he needed it.

Yaakov is a bit of a contrarian ("No I'm NOT!") so I was worried that whatever Baila would ask him to do, he would refuse ("No I WON'T!"). However, when I informed him that my friend was coming over to talk and play with him, he immediately marched into the ma'amad to find a suitable game to play. (Luckily for Baila, it was NOT Candyland.) He was very excited, and when Baila came, he sat her down on the couch and began playing. "This one is so shmeasy faw me," he boasted. So they played and talked, and then Baila asked him if he could differentiate between "run" and "won." ("Which is the one you like to do in the chatzer?" "The fawst one, of CAWSE!" he said, rolling his eyes at this shmeasy question.)

They did two more rounds of that and Yaakov passed, which means he can hear the difference, even if he can't say it. She also asked him to touch his tongue to his nose; unfortunately, he said he "didn't want to show her" that he could do it. Then Baila showed him how she makes the "r" sound and explained it was like a lion roaring. Yaakov's head jerked up. Wait a minute. Lions? This person thinks she knows about lions? She doesn't know about lions! I know about lions! I know EVERYTHING about lions! "That is not how a lion sounds," he explained.
"Well, what does a lion sound like?"
"I do not want to tell you."

"Okay, last question. What is the thing that flies in the sky and is not an airplane?"
Luckily Yaakov did not answer "Buzz Lightyear." But he did say, "Bahwd," which apparently is even more indicative of a speech problem than the other words.

Oh well. The bottom line was that he's not going to outgrow it, he'll definitely need speech therapy, but we can hold off until he's closer to 5. That works for us. On our Parenting Manifesto, right after "Ignore the problem and see if it disappears" comes "Push it off as long as possible." So we will revisit this issue in Apwil.

So a big thank you to Baila, and you are welcome back any time to play games with Yaakov.

9 comments:

OneTiredEma said...

Funny, I asked our mutual OT (sadly blogless) friend about AM's Pencil Grip of Death and she also said Don't Worry Right Now.

Of course this was sight unseen. And via text. Although super impressed she was able to do that sight unseen and via text.

Bill said...

Last year (summer 2009)Yaakov asked if the banana was rrripe with a perfect Israeli ר . Perhaps, given that there is no w in Hebrew, his only problem is in speaking English and he can say bird or learn to say bird in perfect Israeli accented Hebrew with a rolling r.

Gila Rose said...

Tired - she is amazing in her ability to do things via text.

Abba - for some reason, he doesn't transfer his "reish" to his "r." Although I'm glad he doesn't - it would be a shame for him to grow up speaking English like an Israeli, when he is perfectly capable of speaking Hebrew like an Israeli and English like an American.

Cheryl said...

Hi Gila! I just caught up on a few posts. I've missed it!

Baila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Baila said...

Funny, I wasn't going to post about this because A. I've been way to lazy to post lately, and B. to preserve Yaakov's privacy--someone has to!--(you could sue me if I posted Yaakov's AWWWW issues all over the internet). But I'm glad you did and gave me all that free advertising.

Just some notes:


1. I could treat "r's", I just don't like to, which is why we'll refer him out.
1a. (And this one's adding to your plug)--I do treat all kinds of language issues and have expertise in bilingually developing children.
2. It's not LIKELY that he'll outgrow it, but you never know. He may surprise you. But I wouldn't wait until he's 15 to deal with it.
3. He is quite the cute and amusing child.
4. I, too, have received many wonderful things through the blog, the best one being baby-sitting jobs for my girl so they stop sucking me dry.

OneTiredEma said...

Baila, the babysitting thing will be even more lucrative when your eldest has a driver's license. Twice recently I've skipped meetings and such because I couldn't fathom how to get a babysitter home at 9 or 10 or whatever. (Taxman, clearly, was in his little hole in Tel Aviv.)

Gila Rose said...

Baila - thank you for your notes. I hope I'm not scaring away potential babysitters by the things I write about my kids in the blog. Hmmm... something to think about.

And HI Cheryl!

Arica said...

Hmmm-maybe I'll call Baila too! Jordy (or as he calls himself-Jowdy- has trouble with his rrrrr's as well. Hooray free advertising!