Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ladies and Gentleman, we have a LABEL

Well, my kid got labeled. Got an IEP, too, so I'm not too distraught. It's all good, really. Love that educational stuff.

Okay, enough with the tone, as my mother would call it.

The same kid who reads Go, Dog, Go! to me has his very own individualized education plan so that he can learn how to make the right sounds in the right way so that people can actually understand him. He counts to thirteen, spells about a dozen words by memory, and can read most three-to-four-letter words, but can't make an r sound. Or a w. Or, actually, quite a few.He just "drops" those sounds when he speaks.

I can't tell you what the label is because I don't remember. I'm not blocking it out, and I'm not in denial. I just don't think that a label is particularly important since he's simply working on pronounciation. If we were dealing with dyslexia or some other issue of major concern, I'd remember the words. We're dealing with a pronounciation issue, a developmental delay, and that's that.

I won't be the sort of parent who defines her child by his label. That's all. I've known a few parents like that and, frankly, haven't seen many positive things come out of that approach.

Then again, I won't be the parent so determined to prove that a label is only a cluster of words that I end up inadvertently sabatoging his progress.

The approach is this: we do what we need to do in terms of practice at home, we support the team that's working with him, and we stay very, very involved.

We actually wanted a label, believe it or not. While we can teach Gavie how to read, count, find bugs, and jump into a pile of leaves, we haven't much experience in teaching proper pronounciation, not when it comes to teeth and tongue and declension and whatnot. We need the experts, it's that simple.

So don't mind me, the sarcastic cynic, one with an intense dislike for labels in general. I think that, while usually applied with the best of intentions, often end up overshadowing and haunting the person in the long run.

No comments: