About Today 1

I call from the stairs, “Robert we have to work. Do you want to work now or later?” I hear soft and quick, “Later, later.”
“OK, I say, five more minutes.”
It still surprises me that he does come to the table after a few minutes.
From prepared worksheets or workbooks he chooses what he wants to do first.
Today, he chooses two geography worksheets about physical maps. Yesterday, for the first time we talked about elevations. That the different colors on the map symbolize different heights of landforms. I remind him of the word “elevation” we encountered in previous lesson. He practices saying it. It is hard for him to pronounce a word with four syllables. He has problems with pacing. In the past I asked him to make different shapes in the air with his hand as he moves from one syllable to the next. “Elevation” is a square word. He should draw a square in the air stopping in one corner for each syllable. But I am getting ahead of myself and demonstrate another movement – my hand is climbing imaginary four steps. I want to connect the upward movement with the meaning of the word while simultaneously practicing pronunciation. Wrong idea. Robert moves his hand up without stopping and the word gets scrambled into one unrecognizable sound. Should I correct? I am not sure. Doesn’t emphasis on pronunciation distract him from the worksheet? Doesn’t it reminds Robert, yet again, about his severe speech handicap and lowers his general confidence in his ability to learn? I don’t answer these questions but return to the worksheets. Robert might not be able to say the word “elevation” but he recalls its meaning in the context of colors on the map. And that would suffice for now.

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