Max and I are in the car, doing errands. I constantly talk to him when I drive, encouraging him to talk back and say more than "Noooo" and "Eeee-yah!" ["Yeah!"] and "Ah-eh-ee oss!" ["Spaghetti sauce!"]. Today, nothing seems to be working. So I decide to have some fun.
"Max, you're a poopiehead," I say.
He cracks up. Like a lot of boys, he tends to think anything involving the word "poop" is amusing.
"OK, Max, now tell Mommy that she's a poopiehead!" I say. "Poopiehead" would be a thrill to hear; I have yet to hear Max say a "p." The "hard" constants—b, d, g, k, p and t—are tough for him, because of the air control needed. "B" and "p" also require mouth closure, and that's not a natural position for Max. His jaw veers between lax and tight, thankyouverymuch cerebral palsy.
"Max, say 'Mommy is a poopiehead!'" I repeat, laughing. He giggles. Perhaps he thinks I'm whacked.
"Come on, Max!"
And then finally, he says "Ohmmy es oooeeeay." And I am psyched.
You will not find me touting the Poopiehead Speech Program on informercials or anything. It comes from the theory of "Whatever works, WORKS." I highly recommend it.