Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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on improvement

Oh, for pity's sake.

Don't you hate it when you open a story you wrote, mom..., maybe two years ago, and find problems within the first two paragraphs alone?


On this one hand, this means I'm improving. On the other hand...

To revise, or not to revise, or just to trunk and move on. That is the question.


Lots of stuff in the past few days, and I'm not quite sure where to start, so let's begin

Here. Rice is currently on a plane headed to New Mexico, where I hope he gets lots of work done, meets some nice people, and eats some great New Mexican food.

I really like New Mexican food, and it's not necessarily something one finds a lot of around here. I mean, one can find Mexican food (and some quite good Mexican food, too), but not necessarily its sibling.


Back went out Saturday night. I mean, it really went out. None of this, "Oh, it just hurts a bit." No, it was pretty much completely out. It's better now, but I have really got to go and get my whole vertebral column realigned. Thankfully, the kids were good to me, and I got a lot of sleep last night. (I didn't get to sleep the previous night until about 5:30 or 6:00. Rice let me sleep in, which I did until 1:00 that afternoon, and then felt completely stoned for the rest of the day.)


Last week over at Live Journal, one of Rice's ex-girlfriends popped up. Interesting conversation ensued, as did enlightenment about narrative, the human condition, memory, relationships, etc., this may or may not be an entry for another time.


Have also been playing with new laptop.

It seems as if it will do the job :).


On Friday morning, I took Avadore to have his speech evaluated. The speech therapist uncovered the issues that Rice and I (and others) have noticed. We were given the option of allowing Avadore to come in to see her once a week for half an hour, or to enroll him in the Head Start program where he would see the speech therapist twice a week for half an hour, and the teacher could also help Avadore with some of the seemingly cognitive issues related to his speech. We're enrolling him at the preschool for the rest of the year, and if all goes well, he can go next year, too.

I really like the school and the teachers and staff. Though Avadore will surely be exposed to some behaviors we'd rather he wasn't, this seems to be a good option. We have talked to parents who sent their kids there (for speech problems) and the children thrived. It was when the kids entered the regular elementary school that the problems that have concerned Rice and I developed.

My conversation with the speech therapist was fascinating. She pointed out that Avadore's problems could be pathological (as in his bone structure, where things are placed, etc.) or cognitive. I think it's both: he has a very high palate, he had a tongue tie (and seems to still want to move his jaw and tongue together when he speaks, though he can move them independently now), and his nasals (in terms of sounds) are pretty pronounced, though the average person doesn't necessarily notice. These factors alone will certainly cause some speech issues, BUT Avadore also tends to repeat phrases and words over and over again (which falls under stuttering); he circumnavigates -- he talks around what he's trying to say as he tries to find the words to express what he's feeling; he often doesn't have the language to express all he's feeling (and we don't always know what he's trying to express so we can't give him the words); and he makes up words if he doesn't know the correct one. The therapist said that if it is cognitive, they can work with him to be able to find the words to express himself, and to find them more quickly.

Much of this conversation was interesting to me because I do some similar things. I used to have a slight stutter that still shows up if I'm tired, stressed, etc. I sometimes repeat things and circle around until I can find what I'm trying to say -- I have a hard time pulling the right word out of my brain when speaking, sometimes when speaking (particularly in a stressful situation) I have to take my time to express myself or to say what I'm thinking. A lot of people conclude that I'm slow, not capable, or don't know the answer when this occurs. I also have an aphasia. Sometimes I know how to pronounce a word, I can hear it in my head, but I can't say it unless I actually hear it first, i.e., someone else says it. Though it's possible Avador has picked up some of these things by listening to me talk to his dad, or whomever, I think I also may have passed on some things genetically. (And J-Spot tells me he has some of the same issues.) As far as I can tell, my parents don't do any of these things, nor have any of these problems.

BUT, thankfully, it sounds like the therapist and teachers know how to help him so he has an easier time of it than I did. So that he's not in a grad school seminar (which can be a really high-stress situation), trying to express some of his thoughts on DNA structure and the implications for human evolution, and getting interrupted and ripped apart by a new grad student who isn't aware that Maggie is just goes a little slow sometimes. (That was a really bad day, a really bad class, a really bad semester. And she was a really bad grad student, but that's a story for another time.)

Thank goodness for writing -- it makes things so much easier. I can't necessarily speak so well, unless I've written it out first, but I can write pretty well. And sometimes that makes all the difference.

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