Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Little Bit of Clarity

I am starting to know what kind of moment (or even whole day) we are having by listening carefully to Joey's voice. When Joey was little, I often noted to his teachers that he had a huskiness to his voice, a sort of talking-through-cotton sound that other children his age didn't seem to have. I was, for the most part, laughed aside with the idea that that was just his voice. However, Andy does not have this thickness to his speech, despite all the speech issues he has. However, I notice it in many of the kids I meet with dyspraxia; the issues of motor control are coming into play when Joey speaks.

Now and again, and especially when he is doing well and having a really good day/moment, Joey's voice is clear as a bell. In fact, it can be hard to distinguish him from Andy at these moments, even though I know his voice is slightly lower in pitch. When Joey can speak clearly, his brain is moving in synch with his mouth. I also have noticed his language use improves in these moments, though his grammar often takes a slip. He can talk about his toys, or what he did that day, or what is going on in Poptropica, even over the phone.

When his voice thickens beyond the norm, it is a bad sign. Frustration mounts. His body is not in synch, his language use diminishes (though often his grammar improves...), and it is time for a break. Most likely, he is tired and/or hungry, or otherwise worn thin. It is not the time to press him.

So now my ears are primed, ever listening to the rises and falls in my Joey's day, searching for patterns that coincide with thick and clear. Just one more clue when the game is afoot.

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