|Please be patient with me. Sometimes I need to speak slowly so people can understand me.
Please don’t finish sentences for me. I know what I want to say. It just may take me a while.
Don’t answer for me when others speak to me. I want the chance to say it myself.
Please look at me when I am talking. It makes me feel encouraged to keep talking.
Sometimes I know what I want, but I forget the word. Offer me a choice or a clue. When I hear it, it helps me remember.
If you don’t understand me, don’t pretend like you do. Let me know so I can make you understand. I can show you, use gestures, answer questions, draw a picture. I want to be successful.
Do not put pressure on me to make me talk when I am uncomfortable. It makes it hard to get the words out.
Don’t correct my speech loudly in front of my friends. It embarrasses me. We can talk about it later.
I love music, but sometimes singing is too fast for me. If we slow it down a little, then I can sing too. The tune can help me remember the right words to say.
I can feel happy, sad, mad, lazy, excited, etc. I have the right to feel these ways. Help me label the feeling.
Do not make me correct everything I say. If you rephrase it and say it back to me, it helps me learn.
Be interested in what I say. I love to take turns with you. I know when you’re not really listening.
Recognize when I need a break. I can’t always tell you “It’s hard” or “I’m tired”. Help me to come back to it later.
Speak to me like I am my age even though I don’t talk that way. I am not a baby.
Treat me with respect. I am working hard to learn to do something that
Reprinted with Permission from the author
[© Donna Williams, 2000 . Donna Williams is a Speech/Language Support Teacher-Troy Area School District, Troy, Pa for 17 years. She is a graduate of Bloomsburg State College and Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg, PA. Donna has gained experience in a small rural school district with small populations of specific speech/language disorders, such as apraxia, autism, cerebral palsy, and cleft palate. She is the mother of three, two teenage sons (Jason, 19, Matt 16) and a teenage daughter (Stefanie 13)]