Just another reason why our jobs are one in a million.
I used to work in a very rural small town and once spent an entire day doing speech and language screenings for incoming Kindergarten students. For an hour straight I didn’t get a single correct answer when asking what color my green crayon was. The kids all said “John Deere”!
During a receptive vocabulary screening task for kindergarteners, I often tell the children how smart they are, how many words they know, and how I am just not able to trick them when they choose from a field of 4. One adorable young boy was enjoying all the praise and when I told him I just couldn’t trick him, he responded; “You can’t trick me, I’m a moron!” I wonder how or where he learned that word?!
From Mary G.:
When asking one of my preschoolers if he knew what it meant to get a shot, he replied, yeah, you stab yourself and then it tells you what time it is.
One of my kindergarten students suddenly stopped our therapy activity, dramatically threw her head back, and proclaimed, “I can’t run at recess today because my knee has a headache!”
Working with a teenager with expressive language difficulties:
“What are you doing this weekend Miss?”
“Going to a wedding.”
“Another wedding Miss? Does it feel like all your friends are getting married except you?”
Working with a little girl with SLI who was teaching me to play chess:
“And now your king walks through the valley of death…”
Discussing with a teenage girl with ASD about how we dress and the impression that might give to people even if we don’t mean it. End of the session, I stand up in my knee length dress to give her some house points…she asks “Miss, would you say THAT dress was slutty?”
One morning, I went into my friend’s kindergarten classroom to show her my new hair as I had dyed it the night before. One of my students with AU quickly rushed over with concern: “Your hair died?!? Did it go to heaven? Why aren’t you in the hospital??”
From Michelle C.:
Years ago, I worked with a kindergarten language impaired student. One day, as I was walking him back to class, we passed Mr. Price the P.E. teacher. The boy waved and said, “Hi Jim.” (You know, because every week they go to the “Jim” for PE).
I taught tenses today and went to review to see if they remembered, I’m saying to the students, “what is happening now is the PRESENT, what happened yesterday is the PAST and what happens tomorrow is in the _____” (no response) “Clue, it begins with ‘F”. One smart alec said “Friday?”
I had a little 4 year old boy in my blended Pre-K class with severe language impairment. He did not often spontaneously answer questions or share information. We were doing a listening activity with animal sounds. When we got to elephant, the little boy spontaneously answered “elephant!” When I asked him what he said, he answered, “What the h*** is that?” It took all I had to keep a straight face as my assistants are cracking up behind the kid.
Since my 6 year old student had only seen me in pants when he came in for his therapy sessions, he was completely amazed when he walked into his session one day and saw me in a skirt! He stopped in his tracks, held his head in his hands with his eyes wide open and exclaimed…. “Aunty Sam! You have legs!!!”
My 1st grade ELL/language disordered student was working on narratives. After telling a great story I needed him to wrap it up as our time was coming to an end. ”So, Enrique, how did it all end?” With the most beautiful smile and sparkly eyes he replied, “They live heavenly after, after!”
Me: What color car would you like? 3rd Grader: Hmm.. Dark white. Me: Hmm.. tell me more about that. What is dark white? 3rd Grader: (points to gray shirt)
This one is from a colleague, but it’s my favorite ever. Context — two first grade girls, normally thick as thieves, but not speaking to one another on this particular day of therapy.
SLP: What’s going on between you two?
Student 1: I don’t want to have speech with Student 2 anymore. She call me a bad word at recess.
Student 2: I did not!
Student 1: Yes you did! You called me the “S” word.
SLP: (puzzled) You both know name calling is bullying. I need to know what happened. And what is the “S” word?
Student 1: She call me a “b****!”
SLP: (trying very hard to maintain serious affect) Is that true?
Student 2: Well .. yeah, but that’s a “P” word!
I recently started working with a three year old girl. She is quite the handful! We were working and she was tired and took every opportunity to try to get out of working. She played the sad face card one time too many so I told her she was going to have go to time out and think about her actions. Did I mention she is a drama queen? She dropped to her knees threw her arms on the time out bench dropped her head in her arms and started “fake” crying, “I want my Mimi”. I ignored her. She got up walked over grabbed my face and said in her “meanest” voice, “I want my Mimi! You give her to me!” I didn’t say anything, she took her hands off my face, batted her big brown eyes and said, “I pay you“.
From Cindy C.:
While evaluating a preschool child, I asked him what he does in his bed. Hoping for ‘sleeping’, instead he shared “I pee in it”!
Myself and another SLP ran a social/pragmatic group for 9-11 year olds and we were going around the table sharing our favorite animal and why. I was pregnant at the time and one boy shares that I look like an elephant. I calmly asked the boy why I looked like an elephant. He replied, “Because you have blonde hair and you’re wearing a gray shirt”. Naturally…
Me: “Where does the chicken live?”
4-year old little girl: “On the farm…and he crossed the road!”
While doing therapy with a 4-year old patient one day, I was approached by his younger brother. His mother had just recently had a baby and he came up to me and patted my stomach and said, “Your baby must be really little!”.
I use the horn therapy program with some of my students. I checked one student’s folder and the horn was not in the Baggie it was just I’m the folder. I asked, “Where is the Baggie?” He responded, “My grandmama had to use that Baggie for chips”.
I had a child with language disorder in a group working on everyday vocabulary through play. We asked, “What’s this we’re using to wash dolly’s hair?” She was so excited she knew the answer and shouted “I know, it’s hair-poo!” (Instead of shampoo!)
Another preschooler’s mom just had a baby. One day I asked him, “3 boys under the age of 4! What does your mommy do with all of you?” He looked at me with a puzzled expression and said, “Feeds us.” I asked, “Oh, what does she feed you?” He said, “Sandwiches.” ”What about your little brother, Aiden?” ”Sandwiches, too!” I then said, “What about baby Isaac?” He gets another puzzled look and thinks for a minute and then says matter-of-factly, “Mommy’s boobies.” Yep…walked into that one.
From Dana M.:
I was working with a LD 4th grade student and the task was to change one word in a sentence to make a new sentence (ex. “I see a red bird”, change one word to” I see a blue bird” or “I see a red flower”) the sentence was, “The 4th graders went on a field trip to the zoo.”- I gave her a prompt to remember you can change where you went on a field trip or the grade level and she responded with, “The 4th graders went on a field trip (long pause and I gave her a prompt) to the funeral home”. I had no response-some things defy explanation.
From Lindsay V.:
I was acting very excited for a 4 year old that she was leaving the clinic after her last session before Christmas. She asked “Ms. Lindsay, are you going home too?” I responded that I’d be going home at 6:00 to which she said, “And then you’re going to fix that hair?”
When I was doing 4th grade hearing screenings, a boy asked me “Do I need a pencil?”
After giving a hearing test to a 7th grade boy and giving a half sheet paper that indicated he passed, he came out of the room and said “I’m going to Hollywood!”
A K student told me she was in a car accident and said her head was amputated.
When a K student was asked what do you like to think about, he said “I like to think about mulch”
One of my 1st grade students called pajamas “pajamers”
When I asked a boy with Down Syndrome “What do dogs chew?” He said “gum“.
A kindergarten girl asked me, “Do you have a brush?” Are you trying to say I need a brush?
From Katharine H.:
I had one little girl that kept telling me her mom’s job was to sell babies. Her mom was a labor and delivery nurse.
I was asking a 4 year old boy to name shapes. I pointed to the picture of a square and asked him what it was. His reply, “I’ll let you know tomorrow.”
From Amanda B.:
I wear glasses but recently got contacts. The first time I came to work with my contacts in, one of my speech kids (4 y.o.) asked where they were. When I explained that I didn’t need them because I got contacts he told me, “Oh, you should put them back. You look like a frog.” And that title has persisted for the last 3 months – every day I see him he tells me whether I look like a frog or not based on whether I have my glasses on.
From Kathleen D.:
I have one kid that is obsessed with the band ‘The Eagles’. He is 6 but has the language skills of a 3.5 year old. He frequently answers any question with ‘Take it to the limit.’ What did you do today? Take it to the limit. Are you listening well today? Take it to the limit.
I have another student that told me his mom just got a new haircut just like mine. He explained that he noticed that I dyed and cut my hair because, “You know, womens likes that kinda stuff.” Yes sir, they do.
Lastly, I have a student with Autism in the fourth grade. He recently told me before Easter break, “Have a good Easter Mrs. Dames. And tell…your dog..I said Happy Easter too. Don’t forget.” Yup, will do friend.
I was getting ready to test a kindergartner and I asked him how old he was. He said he just turned 6. I asked him when did you turn 6? He looked at me kind of funny and said after I was 5!
From Lynn W.:
Today, one of my 1st grade Little Listeners, while matching Easter eggs through hearing, said, ”These two eggs are CONGRUENT!” Loved this!
Another of my Listeners asked, “Are you killing me?” but meant to say, “Are you kidding me?” Good laugh!
While playing a game, a child said that he was going “to beat me up” but he meant he was going to beat me or win the game. What a difference one word makes!
Before Christmas this past year, a three year old Little Listener sang White Christmas with the words, “Snow is LISTENING” rather than glistening!
From Sharon S.:
Around Christmas time this year I was working with one of my kindergarten students. He was really looking at me intensely and I asked him if he needed me to repeat what I had said. Instead, he asked me why I had tinsel in my hair! Granted, I needed to visit the beauty shop to have my hair colored and grays removed, but I didn’t think anybody noticed. I just laughed – what else could I do?
From Ann P.:
A few years ago I was screening a kindergartner and got to the question about “How do you know you have your shoes on the wrong feet?” His answer was “You walk crazy!” His teacher and I just couldn’t contain ourselves from laughing so hard.
From Aersta A.:
One day around Halloween, one of my Kindergarteners came in and saw a cartoon skeleton I had hanging in my room. He said, “Oh, you have a skeleton! What’s his name?” I said, “His name’s Bob.” He replied, “Oh. I didn’t know Bob died.”
From Sarah S.:
When I was giving the test of problem solving, I got to the one about the firefighter carrying the child out.
Me: This child is deaf. How can the fireman communicate with him?
After a long, thoughtful pause 3rd grade child says, “….Speak Chinese?”
From Carissa T.:
We were singing a song in preschool this summer. One of the kids was like, “I know this song! I heard it when i was in the womb!”
From Tracy M.:
About a month ago, one of my kindergarteners was having a bad day. He has been my student since PreK. We were talking about making good choices and I said to him that sometimes adults don’t make good choices. He asked me if I ever made a bad choice. When I replied, “Yes” he said, “Well, maybe you need to go in time out!” I laughed so hard. We both laughed. I think his day was better after that. I KNOW mine was!
From Blair F.:
I was testing a first grade student and he didn’t know an answer. He said, “It would be really nice if you gave me a clue.” When I said that I couldn’t he smiled knowingly and said, “Oh, is that school policy?”
“Working at snack time with a kindergartener who drops the “s” off of plurals:
Me: Would you like some grapes? Ask me.
K: Can I have grape?
(I hand him one grape.)
Me: Why did I only give you one grape?
K: I don’t have enough money for two.
One time I asked a student what his middle name was. He said it was “Topher.” That didn’t sound correct to me so I looked on his permanent record. I told him that was not correct. He then said, “Yes it is. My first name is Chris and my middle name is Topher.”
From Michele S.:
My daughter Cienna was feeling ill and running a high fever and she loves milk. I mean she really loves milk! She asked for a glass and I said, “I am sorry, no.” Cienna looked at me and said, “Oh, a life without milk is just not worth living!”
From Denise H.:
I work in a urban school and I’m a very fair skinned woman. Last year I had a third grader with ASD ask me why people call him black, because his skin is brown. I explained briefly that it was a term to describe lots of different shades. He then asked if I was white. I said yes I am. With a huge smile he said, “I wouldn’t call you white, I’d called you speckled” referring to my freckles!