Thursday, August 17, 2006

Teaching, Stuttering and Light

What can I say? The responsibilities of raising a two year old, the last few weeks of summer break and the beginning of a new school year have gotten the best of my writing skills! I am nowhere near the consistent blogger that my husband is, and he has been kind enough not to push me too hard to get a new blog up. I am initiating this one all on my own.

Unfortunately, with the start of the school year, it is unlikely that I will be able to write e-books for a while. I definitely enjoyed it and plan on writing more e-books next summer, possibly one over Winter break and Spring break.

In light of this, I need to re-name my blog. I would like to start writing more about the events/interests/passions that are in front of me now, rather than focusing on e-books that I am not currently writing! I would like to write more about being a mother of a toddler, being a special education teacher and personal health and fitness.

My two and half year old is doing wonderfully and has transitioned well back to day care full time. She has, however, started including some stuttering in her speech. Being a special education teacher and having some background knowledge of speech/language development, I was surprised that I did not know much of anything about stuttering. So what do I do when I need to find information fast? Research on the Internet! After reading several articles and discussion panels on the subject, we (my husband and I) found that about 85% of toddlers before the age of 3 years old go through stages of "disfluency" which is not the same thing as a true stuttering problem. I read about twenty people's comments on a discussion panel and every single one of them said the problem started at two and half.

Further reading suggests that this is not a problem at all, but a normal developmental process. It happens when toddlers' cognition is going through a "growth spurt" and they are trying to articulate all of the new things they are learning when their speech muscles aren't quite ready to allow them to articulate it all clearly. Basically, they are learning faster than their little bodies can keep up!

On a different subject, I went to the bookstore tonight to pick up a book I ordered called "Body Confidence", a weight loss journal by Victoria Moran. She is also the author of "Creating a Charmed Life" and "Fit from Within". I recommend these books to anyone who is looking for ways to improve your attitude and outlook on life and on weight loss. Excellent!

When you go to Border's you cannot not look around! So I browsed the kids' section for a book for my daughter and found her an "I Spy" book, which turns out to be a bit advanced for her, but she can find some of the pictures! On the shelf above the "I Spy" books, I noticed a book entitled "The Sound of Colors (A Journey of the Imagination)". Being a lover of poetry, the title grabbed at my heart strings. I picked it up, read the first couple pages and the last couple pages and added it to my purchases. This book is written and illustrated by Jimmy Liao. I'd never heard of the book or the author before, but let me tell you, I am in love! Please find this book and read it.

It is written from the point of view of a blind girl- it begins at the point in time of her life where she is beginning to go blind and is "losing her light". She goes out into the world and imagines what she sees. It is so beautiful. She has to use her imagination to "see" and her other senses to explore the world and to understand things in a new way. I plan on taking it to school, reading and discussing it with kids and having them write a piece of poetry in reponse to it. They will all title their poem "If I Lost My Light" and describe the things they would miss the most if they could not see. I think this will be a powerful lesson and expand the kids' awareness and appreciation of our senses- something we take for granted every day.

I encourage those of you who read this blog entry to close your eyes and imagine what it would be like to lose your vision. How would you cope? Where would your imagination take you and what would it look it? What color would the wind be? What new colors would you invent and how could you share and express those new colors? I assign myself this and encourage anyone to do the same. My next blog will be a poem entitled "If I Lost My Light". If you feel the pull, write your own poem with the same title and write it on the comments section of this blog or e-mail it to me at if you'd like to share it. Let me know if you would like to me to post your poem on my blog. Or of course, you can simply write it for yourself and not share it with anyone at all except yourself.

I will also share some of my students' poetry on this subject (anonymously, of course!) when we complete the activity, which may not be for a couple weeks.

Take care. I look forward to sharing my poem with you soon!