I love to work with preschoolers, and about a year ago, an almost-two-year-old joined my caseload. He was full of personality and charm, even with a very limited expressive vocabulary. He won my heart from the start! I suspected childhood apraxia of speech, so we began to build his vocabulary using Nancy Kaufman's method of successive approximation. In this approach, the SLP models simplified word pronunciation patterns (word approximations) to the child using early developing speech sounds and sound combinations. This approach was working well for this little buddy, and we began simplifying many words in his environment to make them easier for him to say.
My office is in my home, which is a complete blessing. One of the perks is that each day, my little dog, Bruno greets each child as they arrive at the door. We say hello, and give Bruno a pat, and then head to his crate to safely lock him in. Next, the child feeds him a treat and then off to the speech room we go! The kids just love Bruno, and he has become a very special part of our daily routine. But his name is difficult to say for many little ones, so over the years, his name has been simplified to "Boo No" for those little ones just learning to talk.
Back to my little buddy. This little guy could say "Boo" and "No" separately, but as soon as we tried to say those syllables in sequence, he would say "NeeNew". For WEEKS we worked on blending and shaping, and still, Bruno's new name became NeeNew. Then, my charming little friend decided that I was no longer Pam, but I was, in fact, NeeNew. His mom and I chuckled, and resigned ourselves to the fact that I was now NeeNew, even when we prompted "Pam". Well, one day, we were deeply engrossed in play when his mother's stomach rumbled loudly. My buddy, who at this point was still only using single words, sat upright in his chair and said, "What's that?" Then he looked at me and pointed and said, "NeeNew toot!" and broke into a fit of giggles. His mom and I dissolved into puddles with laughter. Not only did I bear the disgrace of being called my dog's name, but I was also falsely accused of tooting during a treatment session! Only a child could get away with that! But he DID combine two words together, so I was willing to sacrifice my dignity for his success.
What's YOUR funny story? Surely, you've got one, too. Please share it in the comments, or link up with The Dabbling Speechie here!