My Help Was Not Appreciated
March 6, 2018 1:42pm CST
We live in a house together with another family. They have four children. With the exception of the second child, they all had problems learning to speak properly. As No 4 has a different father, one can assume that this peculiarity is hereditary and comes from the mother's side. The German language has many words beginning with the 'sh' sound. The boy could pronounce this sound without problems but for some inexplicable reasons he didn't say it when a word begins with it. Let me explain it with English words: He didn't say 'shrub', 'shriek' and 'shredder', but 'rub', 'riek' and 'redder'. Whenever I saw him, I asked him to say 'sh' which he did. Then I asked him to say 'shrub' and he said 'rub', etc. When he was due for the first class of elementary school, he was tested by a speech therapist who was to find out if the boy could attend a normal school or a special school for children with speech deficits. The man put a knife, a fork and a spoon in front of the boy and asked him what that was. The boy wanted to make a good impression and made an effort. He had stored away that grown-ups are happy when they hear the 'sh' sound. He said, "sh-knife, sh-fork, sh-spoon". The speech therapist gawked at him. He had never heard anything like that before. He asked the boy's mother if she could explain where he had learnt these strange words. She told him that a teacher lived in their house who had practised the 'sh' sound with him. The man told her to tell this teacher - me - to stop doing this at once. He said, "We are the specialists. We know what to do. We wouldn't have to study speech therapy if everybody could do it." I can only admire these people. The boy as well as his two younger siblings attended the special school and learnt to speak perfectly. Nobody would ever suppose that they once had problems. The boy is now thirty years old and our landlord. He is married and has two daughters. The elder has problems pronouncing words properly . . . Photo: verywell.com
14 people like this
• United States
My nephew is in high school and has speech problems. For years as he was growing up, no one in the family (besides me) seemed to notice or acknowledge it. When they finally did, he was too old for them for speech to really make a difference because my nephew didn't take it seriously. It is such a shame.
• United States
That's a cute story Glad they didn't have speech problems as they got older. A lot of times I notice kids lisp if their parents do and although it could be genetic I think it's probably just as likely they pronounce things a certain way because that show they hear it spoken all the time.
My niece can't get the hang of the th- sound. 'There' becomes 'mer' and 'that' becomes 'mat'. It's the only sound she has issues with and she's very chatty with a vocabulary more fitting of a five year old than a three year old. I don't know at what stage it becomes a speech therapist issue though. Hopefully it won't come to that. And good on you for trying to support him ... at least you didn't do any lasting damage!