- The one who uses pictures for communication.
- The one with a stutter so severe that his words get blocked and nothing comes out.
- The one who takes longer to process what you said.
- The one who can’t find the words in her brain but knows exactly what she wants to say.
- The one who has a huge vocabulary but their mouth just doesn’t spit it out right.
- The one who didn’t understand what you said.
- The one who is terrified that their words won’t come out perfectly.
- The one who doesn’t look you in the eye or respond to your questions.
THAT kid has something to say.
THAT kid is not defined by their speech and language skills or impairment.
THAT kid’s IQ is not determined by their communication skills.
THAT kid has a right to more time, more understanding, and to a life of successful communication.
THAT kid might be receiving intensive speech pathology services to enable their communication skills to flourish.
As a Speech Pathologist, I see “THAT kid” day in and day out, and often they are suffering inside. Their day is filled with fear of speaking, fear of being laughed at, jealousy, frustration, anger, confusion and more. We can’t see these internal struggles that they are going through.
So next time you speak to “THAT kid,” stop labelling them as slow, annoying or inept, because they are just a kid. Get down on their level, give them more time, smile kindly, acknowledge their efforts and treat all kids with respect.
Does your child struggle with their communication skills or see a Speech Pathologist? What do you wish you could say to people who don’t understand the challenges your child faces every day?
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