Education is similar to tending a garden of biodiversity. At first, we taking little sprouts and seedlings, and we invest a blend of nourishing care and supportive structures. We do this for days, weeks, months and years.
Then, we watch them grow-up.
If we’re lucky, we even take pride in their maturity and fruit-bearing years.
Diverse gardens require deliberate care.
Script of this most inspiring video
“Animal School” by R.Z. Greenwald
Once upon a time the animals had a school. They had four subjects ~ running, climbing, flying, and swimming ~ and all animals took all subjects.
The duck was good at swimming, better than the teacher, in fact. He made passing grades in running and flying, but he was almost hopeless in climbing. So they made him drop swimming to practice more climbing. Soon he was only average in swimming. But average is okay, and nobody worried much about it ~ except the duck.
The eagle was considered a troublemaker. In his climbing class he beat everybody to the top of the tree, but he had his own way of getting there, which was against the rules. He always had to stay after school and write, "Cheating is wrong" five hundred times. This kept him from soaring, which he loved. But schoolwork comes first.
The bear flunked because they said he was lazy, especially in winter. His best time was summer, but school wasn't open then.
The penguin never went to school because he couldn't leave home, and they wouldn't start a school out where he lived.
The zebra played hooky a lot. The ponies made fun of his stripes, and this made him very sad.
The kangaroo started out at the top of the running class, but got discouraged trying to run on all fours like the other kids.
The fish quit school because he was bored. To him all four subjects were the same, but nobody understood that. They had never been a fish.
The squirrel got A's in climbing, but his flying teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. His legs got so sore practicing take-offs that he began getting C's and D's in running.
But the bee was the biggest problem of all, so the teacher sent him to Dr. Owl for testing. Dr. Owl said that the bee's wings were just too small for flying and besides they were in the wrong place. But the bee never saw Dr. Owl's report, so he just went ahead and flew anyway.
I think I know a bee or two, don’t you?
The duck is the child who does well in math and poorly in English and is given tutorials by the English teacher while his classmates are doing math. He loses his edge in math, and only does passably well in English.
The eagle is the child who is turned into a “troublemaker” because he has his own way of doing things. While he is not doing anything “wrong”, his non-conforming is perceived as troublemaking, for which he is punished.
Who does not recognize the bear? The kid who is great at camp and thrives on extra-curricular, but really just goes flat in academics.
The zebra is the heavy, tall, short or self-conscious kid whose failure in school, few realize is due to a sense of social inadequacy.
The kangaroo is the one who instead of persevering gives up and becomes the discouraged child, whose future disappears because he was not appreciated.
The fish is a child who really requires full special education and cannot shine in a regular class environment.
The squirrel, unlike the duck who “manages,” becomes a failure.
The bee, oh the bee. The bee is the child who the school just feels it cannot deal with, yet against all odds and with the backing of his parents, has enough self motivation to do well even though everyone thought he couldn’t.
I have had the pleasure of knowing many bees.
Each child is a unique blend of talents, personality, and ingredients… nowhere else to be found. Some children are skilled intellectually, others are blessed emotionally, and many are born with creative ingenuity. Each child possesses is very own exclusive collection of gifts. Children do not come with an instruction booklet. Effective parents are always learning, studying, and customizing the instructions for their individual child.
Each and every child is as unique as his fingerprints, a sparkling diamond of unparalleled beauty.
Don’t let your child be a kangaroo!
We often hear things like:
"My child is not showing much motivation and seems disinterested - but my husband and I really want him/her to do this."
"I'm concerned about my child's speech and I really want them do the work to get better."
Here are some things to remember during this confusing time!
Stakeholders - Both parents and children have their own valid concerns!
Kids have the right to decline
Make it inviting
We hope these tips help you to decide what's best for your child!
Play our video above on this topic!
Here’s a recap!
For different people, different things are going to be helpful. At Schneider Speech, we don't use the term ‘stuttering modification’ or ‘fluency shaping’, instead it's always based on: what are the client’s needs, what are the client’s goals. We can figure out and custom tailor fit the right therapy plan for them once we identify the following:
what their needs are
what their communication spirit is
what is the nature of their stuttering
what their goals are
where they would like to be more free to speak and speak fully and express themselves fully we can figure out and custom tailor fit the right therapy plan for them.
Here's some general tips about stuttering therapy:
if a technique doesn't work, it's not worth it
if a technique is not acceptable if it doesn't sound better than their other way of speaking it's not good enough
don' make it robotic - if it's so effortful they can't remember what it was they wanted to say because they're so focused on strategies, IT'S NOT A STRATEGY THAT WORKS.
a good therapist, is going to tune into that and make an adjustment, either to change something about the technique or change direction entirely.
Things to remember when thinking about seeking speech therapy:
What Type of parent are you?
Are you able to “watch-and-see” and tolerate allowing some more time, and give your child the opportunity to sort it out themselves?
Are you more concerned, risk-aversive and more comfortable being more proactive rather than applying a more patient approach?
What ABOUT YOUR CHILD? And They’re Temperament?
Is your child reactive and fussy?
Is your child easy-going and unbothered?
IF Parents and kids are not concerned…
If neither parent, nor the child is concerned - it can be a legitimate option to allowing more time. There is no objective need to rush to therapy sooner than later.
(In some cases there can be reasons to seek therapy sooner than later", but it’s not always true that “early intervention” is always the best policy.)
If you choose to “watch and see,” then put a date on your calendar to follow-up (4-12 weeks later). Something like this: “If by this date, nothing has changed, let’s give therapy a try.”
Click here for a practical infographic - when to seek professional stuttering evaluation for your young child who stutters.
For more - see the video above.