A Perfect Little Girl, Right?
13 years ago I gave birth to my fifth child. A beautiful baby daughter, Meg, was placed in my arms. This was significant because I already had four children, but they were all boys. I must admit finally having a girl around was different. Somehow, she ended up as tough as the boys and yet very girly. But by the age of three it became clear that this toddler was different than my other children not only because of her gender, but because of something I had never dealt with before.
This little girl of mine talked a lot,
but not one word of what she said was intelligible.
She said what?
I’m not talking about the typical speech impediments. She was completely not understandable. One day she came and rattled off to me something like this, ” uh tah ti tee ta.” Finally, after asking her several times what she was saying a very frustrated little girl pointed at the laundry I was folding and said it slowly one last time. Suddenly, I got it. She was asking, “Is that Kai’s Tee Shirt?” speaking of one of her brothers.
After doctors visits, hearing tests and determining that her I.Q. was way above normal for her age we signed her up for some speech therapy. I learned that what she was doing was “fronting” the sounds all of her words and she would always choose one syllable from multi-syllabic words when she spoke.
Thankfully, within a few sessions she was beginning to be understood. I began to learn the power of alliteration and playing with sounds. One day we played a game I made up called, “Bixby Bunny Hears a Sound.” It was simple, I would say the phrase followed by an animal sound. ex. Bixby Bunny hears a sound with his floppy ears, moo moo is the sound Bixby Bunny hears. Bixby Bunny hears a…?” And she would guess ” Cow”. We had so much fun with it that we decided to turn it into a guessing game picture book.
I enlisted my son, Ethan to illustrate it. He added some further components to stretch children’s critical thinking skills by placing hidden presents on most of the pages. Soon we had our first children’s book.
That Little Girl Now!
Meg continues to be very verbal. In fact, she is currently participating in as many community theater projects as she can. She just came off of a run as “Horton” in the musical Seussical. Here she is with another super talented young actor, Ethan Seuss, who shared the role of Horton with her. They both have bright futures.
The reason we turned, “Bixby Bunny Hears a Sound”, into a book was because Meg’s speech therapist used books like this as a teaching tool in Meg’s sessions. Books can become so much more than simply something to entertain (not that entertainment is a bad motive for reading a book). But reading aloud to your child helps them hear the sounds that make up words which will help them become great readers themselves.
Can You Relate?
It wasn’t long before I realized that a lot of children have speech struggles. And I learned it is not a sign of weakness to get professional help. But I also learned that I can be a big part of helping my children when they have struggles and sometimes it comes in the form of writing a children’s picture book. The cool thing about that is that I now have something that other families can enjoy whether their children talk funny or not.
To get your own copy of ,”Bixby Bunny Hears a Sound”, simply click on the link.
Then share it with your friends. Also, sign up for our email list because we are working on a super fun unit study companion e-book to compliment, “Bixby Bunny Hears a Sound”. It can be used at home, as lesson plans for a classroom and so much more.
Until Next Time,
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