The speech therapy test


All three of my kids have had to go to speech therapy.  I don’t know what it is — but when you combine Bill’s DNA with mine, you get really cute children that speak gibberish.  I’ve spent the last decade watching adults listen to my kids with frozen smiles on their faces because they have no idea what my kids are saying.

Buck actually didn’t say A SINGLE WORD until he was over three years old.  It was horrible and such a scary situation to go through with your first child — otherwise known as “the micro-managed child”.  We took him to all sorts of specialists that told us he might be deaf and definitely autistic and then one day, out of the blue, Buck started speaking.  (And has never stopped since.)  Buck loves a good practical joke, so I’m pretty sure not speaking to us was his first one.

Emerson started speaking right away, but it was the insane, garbled speech of a crazy woman sitting at a bus stop talking to herself.  So off to speech therapy she went.  And now, it’s August’s turn in the speech barrel.  I think August has had the easiest time with strangers not being able to understand him because he has two sibling translators standing right next to him, ready to jump in as soon as confusion starts to creep across the stranger’s face.  August is saying he’d like rainbow sprinkles on his ice cream…  August is saying he likes Chima Legos… August is saying cheetahs are the fastest animals in the world.

But since August is in a kindergarden class now, he’s going to need to be understood by more than just his family.  And fortunately, his school offers speech therapy, so I took him to get tested last week.  His  job was to point at objects on a laminated sheet and say their name, like “spoon” or “skateboard”.  The problem was that this is a public school, so the supplies they use are ancient.  I’m not sure how old this laminated sheet was — but I’m guessing at least thirty years.  Which meant that August had no idea what some of these objects actually were.  Even I had no idea what some of these objects actually were.

Here are some of my favorites from the test  —


Okay, so here’s a straight razor, a tool that not even my father used.  I do however, remember my grandfather using a straight razor.  I would like to meet the five year old who could actually answer this one.  August stared at it a while, then gleefully answered, “A knife!”  Close enough.


Confusion reigned on this one.  August has never seen me or Bill mop a floor like this.  We have one of those Bona hardwood floor mops with the spray bottle.  Maybe I could show August an old episode of “The Brady Bunch”.  I’m sure I could find Alice mopping the floor with one of these.


This one started to make me feel like we never clean our house.  First, August doesn’t know what a mop is, then he draws a blank on the vacuum.  I nervously looked at the teacher and said, “We don’t have carpet.  That’s why he doesn’t know what a vacuum is.”  Then I silently thought, “Don’t judge us!”


August was supposed to answer, “saucer” on this one, but I don’t think it’s a word I’ve ever said to him — except maybe to talk about flying saucers.  We don’t use cups and saucers.  We drink out of jelly jars.  Maybe jelly jars are on the Appalachian speech therapy test.


And finally, here’s one most five year olds should know, but not August.  He never slept in a crib.  We used one of those co-sleeper things that attaches to the side of the bed.  August looked at this one confidently and said, “A baby cage!”

Needless to say, August starts speech therapy this week.  I can’t to see what’s on the next sheet…  A rotary phone?  A butter churn?  A chariot?  Oh, the possibilities are endless!!!!


  • Noreen says:

    Not for nuthin’, but I’d be more worried about that school’s resources than I would be about your kid’s speech!

    • Holly Hester says:

      Oh, you know those public schools — great teachers, not enough funding! I’ll be excited for August when strangers can understand him. It’s very frustrating for him.

  • suz says:

    love that first photo!

  • Lisa says:

    Oh, this made me laugh! My Kindergartener had a homework assignment with a picture of that old school mop (something I have never owned or used) and he was completely baffled. We Swiffer

    • Holly Hester says:

      That’s so funny! Your child didn’t know either! I think a mop is a pretty bad invention — they get water everywhere. The swifter and bona things are such an improvement.

  • Katy says:

    Goodness the speech therapist should make new laminate sheets with iPhones and flat screens. OK how about farm animals :)

  • JoulesDellinger says:

    When we were in the hospital last year (RSV, yuck) Jack had to be in a baby cage. It looked exactly like that crib, but it HAD A TOP. It was horrifying.

    I often wonder how they can possibly tell if a kid needs speech therapy because I basically don’t understand what ANY toddler says to me, other than my own. I’m always the adult that just smiles and nods until someone translates…

    • Holly Hester says:

      I would have laughed so hard if I had seen a crib with a top!!!! That actually is a cage! Although I’m sure you were laughing at all because Jack was in the hospital. I’m so sorry to hear that — must have been HORRIBLE!

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