Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You Can't talk? You Must Be Stupid!

    I am tired of people thinking that Sierra is slow, not just strangers, but friends and family as well!  I feel like I have to tell people over and over that she is academically ahead of her peers, in other words, smart!  They also seem to have a problem understanding the social and sensory problem as well.

    Here's a conversation about Sierra the other day.  I said "she is behind in her speech, because she was non verbal until she was almost three so she has to learn how to form the words correctly" and I said  "her vocabulary is at the appropriate age level or even higher but we just can't always understand the words she is saying."  Then we were talking about her sensory problems with eating certain foods and they said "Well, Sierra is still like a baby and she still has to learn how to eat and talk."  Now I understand the talk part (not really, but I will give them that one), but what about her eating is like a "baby"?  Sierra likes to have everything in bite size pieces and she uses a fork, because she doesn't like to bite into food or touch it, it's not that she doesn't know how to eat it!

    I am also tired of people talking to her like she is a baby, she is almost 4 and knows everything any 4 year old knows.  People ask her questions that you would ask a 2 year old, where is your belly button, what color is this, where is the circle.  Sierra is already sight reading words, can count forward and backwards, knows shapes like octagon, and hexagon, and yes she knows all her body parts!  I am not saying she is super smart, she knows the same things my older girls knew at this age, but she scored above average academically.

    Do people treat deaf children the same way?  I hope not!  Even when Sierra couldn't speak she was still smart and pointed to or showed you the answers.  How insulting it is for someone to think you are stupid because you cannot talk or pronounce your words correctly!  That's like saying "oh you can't walk, you must be stupid" or "you can't hear, you must be stupid.".......... "You can't talk, you must be stupid!"


  1. Oh Jennifer, I feel for you and can just imagine what you must be going through. It is not fair to her (or to you for that matter) for her to be treated this way. Griffin didn't really start talking until he was 5 years old and after having his tonsils removed even I can hardly understand him and he is 8 years old but he is not treated like Sierra is. Your relatives and friends should be more sensitive and caring.

  2. It's just really annoying, maybe I am just too sensitive about Sierra. Thanks for your support!

  3. It bothers me also when folks talk to my 4 year old son as if he is a two year old. I mean, Yes...I GET the fact that we should treat kids as their developmental age, but I also think that kids will rise to the occasion if we treat them as their chronological age (even if there is a language delay).


  4. I agree, don't baby them because they have special needs. Thanks Chris