Class Reunions

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Re: I Loved your Story!

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 07 Oct 2004
Time: 21:12:07 -0500
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Hi Ashley, Thanks for your kind words. You sure know how to ask a hard question don't you? Man... I'm a master of the art of making a mountain out of a molehill! Give me a minor problem and I can make a lifetime career out of it! Nevertheless, we're never too old to learn... I'm facing that exact problem right now. My grandson, age 3, is starting to stutter and my daughter has asked for my help on what to do. I know what to do - professionally (and we're doing it) - but the emotional advice part is a LOT easier said than done. The key, I believe, is to emphasize a child's strong points and build them up rather than looking for any perceived weakness to try to improve upon. I remember, with great sorrow and anxiety, my own father saying to me "Son, you've GOT to learn to talk right." He meant well, of course, but that statement plunged a knife into my heart that I've never forgotten. That's the OLD way of thinking, that you work on your weakness rather than make your strengths even stronger. It's a matter of perspective. Your life revolves around what you work on, and if you work only on your weaknesses, that begins to define your life. It certainly did mine. It's taken me forever to realize that. In the case of my grandson, he can hit a baseball with a bat - AT AGE 3!!! He can legitimately beat me at air hockey! No kidding! He can recognize models of cars like I couldn't until my teens. Being as objective as I possibly can be (with my own grandson!), he really is amazing. My advice to my daughter is to work on building up his already emerging strengths rather than concentrating on trying to cure his stuttering. If I'm right - and I'm convinced I am - he will grow up to be a normal speaker with greater strengths than anyone can imagine now. It's possible that he will never even remember stuttering at this age. Yes, of course, we are starting him on speech therapy with an SLP expert who understands all this. Yes, she's going to help him - and his parents - with his speech, but it won't be in a direct way to "cure his stuttering." If his life is in balance, his speech will probably not become a major issue in his life. And that's the name of the game. Great question Ashley! I hope you are enjoying the conference! Russ

Last changed: 09/12/05