Chicken Soup for The SLP's Soul

Today, I want to share with you one of those moments where you know you were in the right place at the right time, doing what you were called to do.

A few years ago, I had identified a student through kindergarten screenings who had difficulty with the /k/ and /g/ sounds - let's call him Nicky (not his real name).  Since those were his only sound errors, and he couldn't say his name correctly, I started seeing him on an RtI basis a couple times per week.

We worked on those sounds for over three months with some success at word and phrase levels for the initial and final sounds, but no carryover to conversation, and the medial sounds remained difficult.  One day, we were working on medial /k/, and I decided to have him practice his name.  All of the sudden, instead of "Nitty," I heard "Nicky!"  It was the first time I had heard him say his own name correctly!  Thinking it was a fluke, I had him repeat it five times.  Then say it in a sentence.  And then another sentence.  There it was, that beautiful /k/ sound!

I'm not sure "Nicky" understood why he got so many high fives and a hug from me that day, or why I held back tears in our session.  All he knew was that something "clicked" that day, and from then on he had very little difficulty with the /k/ and /g/ sounds, and soon thereafter "graduated" from RtI.

But for me, I was celebrating that "little" victory that meant so much.  I know what a struggle it is when people can't even understand you when you say your own name, and how disheartening it can feel.  In many old stories and legends, to say a person's true name aloud is a source of incredible power and magic.  As a speech language pathologist, I know that it can be true!

Looking for your "magic" number?  Here it is!

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  1. My child has a history of hearing challenges and was finally able to say her name last month. Once shy and uncertain what to do when anyone asked her her name, she now beams and proudly replies "Clara." Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. What an inspiring story! How frustrating it would be to not clearly say your own name. Isn't it awesome knowing you made such an impact! I'm currently in the same situation trying with all my might to conquer this k & g sound that is so important for one of my kiddos. Thanks for sharing one of your sweet stories! Emily

  3. Part of my post is a similar story-- It's so important for these little ones to be able to communicate just basic things like their names! Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. It's definitely the "little victories" that give us big reminders that we're in the right spot!

  5. You gave Nicky more than an ability to say his name. You empowered him, you gave him confidence, you taught him persistence. Beautiful story!

  6. /k, g/ can be the hardest sound sometimes! I remember when one of my clients finally got it. I danced around the room, looking like a loon and the child looked at me like I was crazy. I didn't care, I just kept saying, "do it again!" Great story!!!

  7. Great story-k and g can be tough-so I totally get how excited you were-plus how powerful for him to be able to say his name.


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