Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gig Gugs

"Mommy, dare's a gig gug in de cool bus!"

I heard this from Liam the other day. Ten bucks goes to the first person who can tell me what he said. (I know what he said, I just want to see if anyone else can figure it out.)

He's been going to speech therapy twice a week for the past few months and while he's talking more than he used to, hardly anyone (save the four of us who live with him) can understand him.

Is there a word that describes a feeling beyond frustration? If so, that would describe how I'm feeling about his lack of progress.

The problem is that he mumbles and doesn't move his lips when he talks. This must be genetic because Ryan remembers his stepdad telling him to stop talking like he had marbles in his mouth. Obviously, Ryan figured it out because by the time I met him in elementary school, he was talking just fine. But I wonder if his mother ever had to work with him like this:

Me: Liam, say book.

Liam: Gook.

Me: Boo, boo, book.

Liam: Boo, boo, gook.

Me: Liam, say bike.

Liam: Gike.

Me: Bi, bi, bike.

Liam: Bi, bi, gike.

Me: Liam, say bubble.

Liam: Bubble.

Me: Liam, say baby.

Liam: Baby.

Do you see the pattern? There's some fancy schmancy term for it, but in short, he sometimes replaces the first consonant sound with the second one (or one like it - g and k are quite similar). If it's the same sound (bubble, baby), there's no problem. But if it's different (book, bike), he can't say it. However, he only does it when the second consonant sound is gutteral (in the back of the throat - g or k). If it's labial (uses the lips - b, m or p), or uses the tongue (s, l or n) it's not an issue. He also occasionally drops an s or th, but most of the time if I correct him immediately and make him repeat it correctly, he can say it.

Got all that?

The speech therapist promises me that with a lot of work, an hour a week from her and about a thousand hours a week from me, he'll get it.

I've been thinking about getting some kind of at-home part time job and I guess I've found it. Too bad I don't get paid for it.

Sorry for the whine; I just had to get that off my chest. I promise my next post will be happier and may even have pictures of three of the cutest kids on the planet.


  1. Big bug on the school bus?
    I know this has been a frustration for you, but you ARE making progress!!

  2. That's what I would have said too. I baby sit my niece once for a few days and she would say things like een uck for green truck and ato oup for tomato soup. She had some speech therapy and growth and now she is a beautiful 28 year old who speaks with very beautiful diction. Liam will get there too! Hang in there.

  3. Yep, I'm thinking Big Bugs too. It's tough dealing with problems like this, but I'm sure it will get better. Hang in there. Obviously he's a smart kid and it won't take him long to figure it all out.

  4. Ugh, sorry. I'm really thinking speech therapy is in our future, too. Addy's stammer hasn't improved at all, and is worsening if anything. I'm really dreading it, but all the little things we've tried to do to help her don't seem to be helping long term.