Monday, January 09, 2006

Converstaions with very clever people...

The wonderful thing about becoming adult, is that if you pay enough attention, you begin to understand yourself better. You understand your needs, how to meet them, why things affect you the way they do, and what to do about the way you are affected by things. I often find that the best way to know how to treat someone, refer to someone, talk to someone is simply to ask them, as they usually know best.

I have a good friend who used to stutter as a child, so when I was working with a little guy who stuttered, but was not yet able to understand enough to tell me why, I asked my friend what I should do to help him. She told me that because stuttering tends to be anxiety driven, the best thing to do is to sustain neutral eye contact, as a break in eye contact communicates that you have stopped listening. Also, you should not interrupt or try to speak for the person, as that will only fluster them and perpetuate more stuttering. Intuitively this makes a lot of sense to me. I don’t consider myself to stutter, but often, when I haven’t taken enough time to gather my thoughts, I speak what the boyfriend affectionately refers to as "Bushman" (as in the South African Bushmen, not the president…although I guess it could work either way). It’s interesting to me how many people who think of themselves as quite clever respond to certain things in the same exact way. On many occasions, I have had this exact conversation (well okay, maybe not EXACT conversation, but still quite close) with these oh-so clever people...

SG (before fully collecting thoughts): “I…um, I, well I think, er…”

CleverPeople (cutting me off): “Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh!”

SG: Silence

CP: “I’m just kidding.”

SG: Silence

CP: “Go ahead. What were you going to say?”

SG: “Nothing. Nevermind.”

CP: “No really, I was just joking. I want to know.”

SG: “That’s okay.”

CP: “Just tell me.”

SG: “No, it was nothing.”

CP: “C’mon SG. Just say it!”

SG: “No. It’s okay.”

CP: “I don’t understand why you won’t tell me. Why you gotta make such a big deal out of this?!?!”



Blogger Octoberbabies said...

I'm sure this will be the case when India starts speaking, the taking time to collect her thoughts that is. The husband and I are practicing this with Isaac now. It takes him some time to gather this thoughts (NT's do it too!) and if he starts speaking before he's got it all together it sounds something like "Um, mami.. do you know?..(in here he positions his hands to give me a visual of what he's talking about) um.... do you remember?... um, no I mean.." and so on. I usually tell him I'll wait for him to think about what he's saying and then he regroups and lets it out. I wonder if(and certianly hope that) his teachers are this patient with him. I wonder if I'd be this patient with him if not for India. I probably wouldn't "get" it, to be honest. (Thank you, India!)


3:02 PM  
Blogger SquareGirl said...

I'm not sure if I've already written this, as it has been on my mind, but when the IDG's get a little older (and I'm sure you already thought about this) you might encourage them to write. Not only does writing allow people to understand me better, it helps me to speak about things better, as I have gone through the entire processing part already.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That sounds like a conversation between clever people.

2:24 PM  

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