Friday, July 12, 2013

A Boy Named Silas: Sunday School Revenge

     I love Silas. That five year old is hilarious and full of zest. He is quirky, zany, and incredibly intelligent. But do you know what? He's also been in speech therapy for nearly his whole life, and if you were to meet him today and hear him talk, you'd probably know something was wrong.

     I say probably because to me, Silas is completely understandable. And my friends and his friends understand him because they know him and are used to the way he expresses himself. Not everyone is as gracious, unfortunately, or as willing to work hard to understand what my son has to say.

     Silas is an official kindergartner. Since we homeschool, I got to tell him when he made the transition from preschool to kindergarten, and it happened last spring at our homeschool group's end-of-the-year picnic. But since our Sunday school program at church runs on a more traidtional-school-year schedule, we hadn't moved Silas up to the elementary-age class quite yet.

     Since it was Fourth of July weekend and church attendance was therefore running at about 45% of normal, we were short Sunday school teachers, so I got recruited to teach the elementary Sunday school class. Since Mom was teaching, Silas decided today was the day he'd prove his kindergarten status by joining the "big kids."

     I usually teach the junior high kids during Sunday school, so I didn't know many names today. I had each student stat by telling me who they were and what they liked to do at home. When it was Silas' turn, several kids giggled. Apparently, Silas' speech patterns were quite humorous to them.

     My lesson that day was on the miracles of Jesus. So in order to introduce the topic, I asked if there were any really good spellers in the room. Several hands shot up, but nobody - not even Silas' big brother - could spell miracle correctly. Silas' hadn't even raised his hand (maybe he was shy after getting laughed at), but I called on him anyway, and he rattled off the spelling for miracle in a single breath and got ever letter down pat.

     How did I know Silas could do it? I've never asked him to spell miracle before. It's never been on a spelling list, and we don't do tests at our home. But Silas has a photographic memory. If he's seen the word in print, he'll be able to spell it. A full year ago, Silas took a 12-part diagnostic reading test that placed his spelling abilities at a fourth-grade level. Since he's had a full year of reading to improve his spelling skills, I was sure today that he could spell miracle without even taking the time to blink.

     And he did.

     What's even greater is the reaction to the rest of the class. These kids - who only minutes before were laughing at my son for his speech delays - were now gasping and whispered, "How did he do that?" I think "Whoa" was heard more than any other word for the next half a minute. And do you want to know what else? Nobody laughed at Silas for the rest of the day.


Random Fact: I made it to the school spelling bee once, but got out in round two or three when I added an extra e to the word argument.

Check it out: The Boy Named Silas ebook is now available from amazon! In fact, all my ebooks are only 99 cents for this week only. Enjoy!


  1. Way to go Silas! I'm so proud of you!

  2. I have worked with many children who had speech delays. I think the giggling comes from unfamiliarity most of the time. They are uncomfortable because there is some sort of difference. However, due to the beautiful nature of children, my experience is that the students came to understand and support those children, just like they did everyone else.
    Bravo Silas! I've always thought photographic memory was an amazing gift. I'm quite the opposite.

  3. Bwahahaha! >-) Sweet vengeance!