Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spread the word to end the word

Tonight I'm posting a picture. Please look long and hard at it. When I see Porter exhibit this behavior, I usually delete the picture, because this behavior is part of what society stereotypically associates with the R-word.
Aside from being a photo that shows off their loving bond, this picture shows what happens while he is focused on other activities. His mouth opens and his tongue hangs out. Low tone curses him yet again. Most of the time, he's super conscious of lip closure and does not allow his tongue to protrude. We've worked long and hard using Talk Tools methodologies to limit these behaviors. But, when he has a cold and is focused on other activities (in this case, learning letters and numbers with sister), It can happen. And I'm so scared of what people think when they see it happen. They could be thinking the "R-word." Ouch!
Let me share some of the facts I've learned over the past few years. Your lips and tongue are muscles. And Porter's low tone means he's working so much harder than you and I work to make hus muscles work. We do oral motor exercises, drink from straws, blow on horns and work endlessly on proper chewing in order to lessen this specific tongue protrusion. But, it can still happen. And it does. And then I worry about what people think and could possibly say. Which gets me to worrying about the first time someone uses the word in front of Penny, or worse, when Porter hears it and understands.
The "R-word" hurts. It hurts to know that is what people may think or say when they see tongue protrusion or other behaviors that are completely explainable but different from what we think is typical.
Tomorrow, 3/5, please spread the word to end the word. Make a conscious effort to take the "R-word" out of your vocabulary. Do it for Porter! Please! 
Learn more at http://www.r-word.org

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