“Dignified Speech”

Sophie:  Hi everyone.  I just love my blog. This post is about how I need to use Dignified Speech. Bob and Ellen say I am highly capable.  Please read this.

Lisa:  Ever since I started homeschooling Sophie, I’ve mandated a household rule that we call  “dignified speech.”  What does that mean?  It means that when we speak to Sophie and when she speaks to us, we strive to use the most mature and sophisticated vocabulary possible.  I constantly remind myself that Sophie must be challenged in every aspect of her development every day of her life.  Trisomy 21 is absolutely no excuse for sloppy slang in our home.  Even though Sophie was speech delayed, even though she sometimes stutters, and even though she has auditory processing challenges, I refuse to short-change her by depriving her of the gift of dignified speech.  She must be immersed in high level speech if we are to expect her to model it.  So we strive to speak to her using impeccable articulation and higher vocabulary as much as possible, and we do so both inside and outside of homeschool hours.

What are some examples of what I call “dignified speech?”  Rather than asking Sophie to hurry up and finish something, I ask her to “Please expedite.”  Upon arrival to various destinations around town, we exit the car, pause to check for passing cars, and then one of us exclaims, “Shall we proceed?” while simultaneously making a sweeping hand gesture.  We don’t refer to people as having left.  They have “departed.”  We don’t talk about what to eat for lunch.  Rather we “consider nourishing lunch options.”  When reaffirming something to be true, Sophie exclaims, “Indeed it is.”

I smile as I recall a conversation between John and Sophie that took place about 2 years ago.  Sophie was trying unsuccessfully to stretch a freshly laundered mattress pad over her bed.  As her frustration mounted, she yelled for her father.

“Baba, please come here!”  Without lifting his gaze from the desktop computer, “What do you need?” “I require assistance!” “You what???!!!” Sophie stuttering, “I require a-s-s-s-sistance!” John yelling to me, “Lisa, what’s she saying?”  “She’s saying that she requires assistance.” John surprised, “Huh?! Are you kidding me? That’s awesome!” John to Sophie, “Sure honey. Coming!”

Sophie:  Goodbye folks!