Minion Speak

by Meredith on February 14, 2012

THINGS THAT DON’T SPEAK VERY WELL

Lilah:

Logan:

Minions:

Lilah and Logan have developed their own little language.  Lilah barely speaks to anyone but Logan, and he interprets most things she says so we can understand.

You can see why this is a problem. We can barely understand him.

We start speech therapy today.

This is going to cost a small fortune to correct, I am sure of it.

Did your children have to go through speech therapy? Did it fix the problems? How long will it take?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

April Davis

My youngest daughter never said anything but “degoll, degoll, degoll”. Never said mama or dada, everything was simply degoll. She started speech therapy when she was 2 years old & I clearly remember the first time she said “ba!” The therapist was trying to get her to say “pop” while they were popping bubbles. It took about a year for things to click completely for her. We have a wonderful program in Kentucky called “First Steps” that puts you in touch with a therapist & you don’t pay a set amount, just what you can afford. It changed our world! Hope everything goes well for you & your family.

By the way, I LOVE your blog! And your hair. But that goes without saying. Thanks for letting us have a glimpse into your life.

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Meredith

Today, the speech therapist told me to stop holding things from her when she doesn’t talk. For example, if she is pointing, try to get her to say it, and then just give in. This way talking isn’t a negative thing.

I don’t know about that. I mean, doesn’t that just teach her she gets her way even if she refuses to talk?

Did you experience this?

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April Davis

We did the same thing. Our therapist said that she needed to hear the word associated with what she wanted and that the only way to do that was to tell her the words & then give her what she was trying to ask for. That way we weren’t punishing her for not saying it correctly, but trying to re-teach.

Hope things are going better this week!

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Mackenzie

My cousin Jenny, from momminitup.com, who actually turned my on to your blog via curvygirlguide, writes extensively about speech therapy. She loved it! Her Sophie girl just graduated and could probably give you some awesome tips. And she also lives in Ohio. Go stalk her.

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Meredith

Email sent to your cousin. THANKS!

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Sarah

My oldest, Amanda, started speech therapy when she was 2 1/2 when the only word she said was “ohey” for everything. She’s now almost 6 and still in speech therapy. Amanda is finally catching up to her peer group (thanks to a new, better school) with context and things like that but she has a wicked lisp because of a tongue thrust and an overbite, that is just now being addressed ( again, new & better school).
Long story short, Amanda will be in speech therapy for a few more years.

In PA we had a program called Blast. It’s for early childhood learning and addresses learning and speech issues and rarely if ever cost the parents anything. We had a Dr. recommend an evaluation by the program and Amanda qualified. You could find out if you have anything like that in your area, some one from the school district might know.

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Danalyn

How old is Lilah now? She speaks about like my daughter (who is two and a half)

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Meredith

Lilah is 2 and a half as well. Her birthday is in August. Logan is 3, turning four next month.

This was the MOST she said to me all day. I have to MAKE her talk to me to get what she wants. Otherwise, she would just talk in her little sing-sing voice to Logan in complete jibberish.

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Danalyn

My daughter is an August baby as well. Every time I’m ready to call and try to get her into speech therapy she starts popping out some new words.

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Dawn

Both of my sons needed speech threapy. My oldest couldn’t produce any audible sounds until he started therapy at four years-old. He was diagnosed with apraxia and was taught every sound he know by his awesome therapist. He is now ten and still get speech, mainly to refine the sounds and concentrate on speaking more appropriately. My three year-old started speech in September and has progressed at a much faster rate than his brother. It just depends on how severe their problem is and how well they respond to therapy. The best advice I can give is to start them as early as possible and to ask the therapist to send homework so you can practice at home. Repetition is key and you can contribute to their progress by reinforcing at home what the therapist is doing during her time with them. Good luck!

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Mama K

My son started therapy this year in preschool. We worked through our Area education agency (we live in Iowa) and the services are completely free to us. You should check if your state has something similar.

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Meredith

Thank you for the information! I’ve sent out some emails and made some phone calls today!

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Tess

My youngest daughter was in speech therapy for a couple of years. She had a hard time with “r” and despite being from the south, always sounded like a brewery trucker from Boston. She is now in her second year in medical school. It’ll be alright…I promise.

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Meredith

I would have just made her say “the yard at Harvard” all the time for all my friends. That seems like a fun accent to have!

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Laurie

My older son did speech therapy from 3 1/2 through kindergarten. At the end of kindergarten/ beginning of 1st grade we had a meeting and we basically agreed he was through. He had trouble with his hard C sound, sh sound, k sound in a word (like skate), t sound,and th sound and f sounds. It was a lot of practice and repetition. He went to a speech therapist once a week. While in pre-k I would just take him over to the elementary school and then once in kinder, they just got him from class. He HATED that and I think that helped him work harder to get the sounds so he could “graduate” from speech. Now he is in 2nd grade and he will fall into old patterns if we let him (saying da for the) so we correct and make him repeat. The speech therapist told me it takes over 1000 repeats to make it a natural sounding word to his ears. MY GOD. But here is the thing, I went through the county so it was all FREE as part of his education. Was I scared about labeling him with an IEP or what the school would think – taking him in to be tested early means it was on his record before he even started school. But it was the best thing we ever did because man he would get SO frustrated trying to communicate with us and we would just guess did you mean “x”? Or maybe “y” – the worst thing you can do! So I would do it again. The younger sibling would hear us practicing with C and so got in on the act, and never needed it. Best of luck. It’s not so scary once you get started. And it is SO WORTH it.

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Meredith

Okay, so Logan does this:

Monkey = MO-EY

And then we will make him slow down and stress the “k”, and he still says (but now slowly) MO-EY. Is that what your son was doing?

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a

My niece and nephew also made up their own gibberish language. Trouble was, no one uderstood them and they refused to translate for each other.

My nephew did end up with some speech delays which his therapist attributed to their being twins and communicating amongst themselves. They, in their own sense, did “speak” and since they understood each other, didn’t see a reason to speak to others. Eventually she, blabbermouth gossip that she became, took to speech like a house on fire, but he was behind. So many years of speaking incorrectly left him without the ability to form certain sounds properly.

In your monkey scenario, he’d say it differently slowed down, but still wrong. He’d try to compensate for the sounds he couldn’t make by adding other ones, so it would sound like “MO-EN-AH-KEY”. Most consonants needed a vowel in front for him to enunciate, so he’d just add them. He eventually got so frustrated with people not understanding him that he reverted back to gibberish and would let her talk for him.

He was in speech therapy for about three years, but did make massive strides. You can tell when he’s speaking that he sometimes get a little tied up or confused, but those moments are few and far between now. Good luck!

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Jennifer

My nephew was in speech therapy, mostly because he wouldn’t talk. It worked wonders for him.

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Crystal

When my brother was 2 and a half he wouldn’t speak well at all. He had a lot of trouble with the s, c and ck sounds. He constantly called me “Tittle” and my cousin Christy “Tee-tee.” He tried to say “snickers” in a grocery store one time and that was the most terrible thing ever. It sounded like “ni ers” so it was pretty humiliating. He never went through speech therapy and speaks perfectly now.

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kelsey

My friend had a son with a stutter, and she found some resources through the local university in her town. Looks like UT has a program and some resources. Google their “Auditory and Language Enriched Program.”

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Regan

My kiddo’s school contacted me when they noticed his “accent” while he was on stage in the school spelling bee. Free therapy from the district and it only took 2-3 months before I noticed his speech was “normal.”

Here’s a link to a post I wrote about his accent, which includes an audio clip of him. He speaks perfectly fine now! http://reganshead.blogspot.com/2010/02/im-convinced-kid-was-jfk-in-past-life.html

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Jasmine Robertson

Contact your school district – they should be able to connect you with a program for early childhood development that not cost anything.

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E3

My favourite part is when you say “…kinda…” :)

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Carrie Sautter

That was my favorite part too!!!!!!!!

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statia

I’m not in your area, obviously, but I have a lot of experience with early intervention, both birth to three programs and 3-5. Your kids, just based on the way they’re talking, will ABSOLUTELY qualify for early intervention programs.

http://www.co.lucas.oh.us/index.aspx?NID=1761

Talk to your pediatrician for a referral. Don’t even pass go. The earlier you start, the easier it will be for all of you. Even if you seek additional private therapy, your kids are entitled to county services. Based on meeting your for all of 20 minutes, and reading your blog, you’re a no bullshit type of girl. I love that about you, and you absolutely should use that to your advantage. You wouldn’t hire a porn star. Don’t take no for an answer from early intervention. (bad comparison. haha)

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Meredith

Yes, we have the referral from him and the preschool wrote a recommendation.

We thought our insurance (Aetna) would cover everything, so it wasn’t going to be a big deal to go to a private practice that specializes in speech. We were wrong. Making up your own language and not annunciating words is not covered by insurance. If they had a learning disorder (kind of seems like it to me) it would be covered.

So here we are… I can pay a year of college tuition to fix them, or I can look into other resources.

Thank you SO MUCH for the information!

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Deborah

Since your children aren’t school age, I can’t think of a way to get “free” speech therapy. However I can offer this…if their speech isn’t corrected by the time they are in school you need to do two things. Take advantage of the free speech therapy in school and make sure you have IEPs (individualized education program) for each child.

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statia

Deborah,

Early intervention is “free” in that you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket, since you technically pay via taxes. I guess that should be a given. :o )

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Susan

I had three out of four boys in speech therapy, the third one started when he was 2, although he was too young to start at the school for the early intervention program he did qualify for at home services, they came to the house two days a week and worked on speech and occupational therapy with him. I had actually found out about these type of services from my oldest son’s preschool teachers because my second son wouldn’t talk at all, he grunted and pointed, he was almost 3 when the teachers told me who to call to get things started. My second son can talk just fine now although at 15 he still grunts and mumbles but I decided that is a boy thing lol. My third son doesn’t get any more services and he talks just fine but somewhere along the lines he hears differently(hearing tests came out fine), which has caused him to be the worst speller ever. When he first started talking, he couldn’t put certain sounds together, for example, his name is Matthew but he called himself Mattchew, emphasizing the ew. Eventually he could say the name Matthew as long as it wasn’t about himself, for another year he referred to himself as Mattchew. I can’t imagine where they would be if it wasn’t for that therapy in those beginning years and if it wasn’t for the early intervention program they wouldn’t have received the help they needed. Sorry for the babble, basically check around through some of the preschools in your area and see what they offer, you can also get a list from the therapist you have already talked too.

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Laurie

I just typed you a long reply, but I don’t see it. Let me know you got it ok? I don’t want it to disappear?? Also, know that I tried to respond to you! I did!! Argh!

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denise

when we first met our son at age 8 we could not understand a word he said.
we had no idea what we were doing.
we got him a speech therapist, made him visit the speech therapist at school several times a week, and we tried all sorts of exercises we found online.
we adopted him when he was 9. by then, he had already made huge improvements and was very understandable.
he graduated all speech therapy programs at age 11.
he turned 12 yesterday, and i’d say that if you met him you wouldn’t even be able to tell he had any speech difficulties.

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Julie

My daughter started speech therapy when she was 2 because she only made vowel sounds. She also mostly spoke to her older brother (4 at the time) and he somehow understood her and translated for her. I mentioned my concern to our doctor at her 2yr check-up and he set it up so that someone from ECSE would come to our home to screen her. This did not cost us anything since it was considered part of Early Childhood Screening. She did qualify and someone came to our house twice a week until she turned 3. After that, we brought her to the school once a week to see the speech pathologist there. In the summer she went 2-3 times a week to a nearby University to work with Grad-school students (this was also free.) When she started school she usually saw the speech pathologist 2-3 times a week. It was overall a great experience, and one that she really enjoyed- she loved going to speech. Some of the things that frustrated me the most were other people. Everyone wanted to know what was “wrong” with her or the wanted to know what she “had”…people didn’t ever seem to be satisfied with the simple answer of “articulation delay.” It was also heartbreaking to see how people would under-estimate her. They assumed because she couldn’t say it, she couldn’t understand it either, when that was not the case. I also heard so many “encouraging” stories about some kid that they knew (niece, nephew, neighbor, insert-connection-here) who after just a few months of speech really took off and they were speaking perfectly in no time…also not the case in our situation. My daughter is in 2nd grade and just “graduated” speech. In the meeting to end services 4 out of the 5 people in the room were crying- my daughter was crying because she didn’t want to be done with speech (that is how much she loved it) her speech pathologist was crying because she was going to miss working with her and she was so proud of her, her teacher and I were crying because we were so proud of how far she had come. I guess to wrap up this long-winded response; it is a great experience that will help you child-don’t let other people get you down.

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