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Special Needs: Thank-You Daddy

Ger Renton by Ger Renton Additional Needs

Ger Renton

Ger Renton

Mummy to three boys and now a mother to a fur baby, Lola. Wife to D and lover of music, books, writing and reading. I'm a believer in the power of...

When asked why I like the music I like, I often say I just do but the truth is, I know exactly why I love the music I love.

People laugh all the time at the type of music I like and I have often been asked if I am being serious!

Music is powerful. Music has such an important role in our lives which begins way back in our childhoods.

I remember being a child sitting on the carrier of my daddy's bicycle.

My legs were so short that they couldn't reach the wheel let alone the ground.

My daddy spent a lot of time on his bike collecting and dropping me to speech and language therapy.

I had a bad stammer, my daddy insisted I get help to rectify it which meant three weekly visits to speech and language therapy.

Each time he would collect me, he’d sing.

He’d sing the same song for a few days, then he’d drop some words and that was my queue to sing my little heart out, without stammering.

I never stammered when I sang.

The songs? The songs my daddy sang began with Elvis and ended with Johnny Cash, not forgetting the Beatles and many 60’s songs in between.

I loved them all but there was something very special about Elvis, or maybe it was the way my daddy sounded when he channeled his inner ‘King’.

‘Wooden Heart’ was the first Elvis song I knew by heart, thanks to my daddy.

I think, even back then, I knew that this was a time I should cherish with my daddy; having six siblings, it was hard to have either of your parents all to yourself.

I felt lucky that I had my daddy all to myself for up to three times a week.

But of course, stammering is something that is genetic, so it wasn't long before my little brother was sitting on the crossbar, while I sat on the carrier and our daddy was singing Elvis and co to him too.

I found the therapy hard. I struggled with it.

I remember going into the therapist humming “Love me tender” when she smiled and asked me to sing a line of it. Which I did.

She clapped and reminded me that not only did I not stammer or stutter but that I was singing her favourite song in the world.

From then on, after each typical therapy lesson, we would sing, always Elvis and always standing on top of the table.

While therapy obviously helped me control the stammer; I believe my love of Elvis helped me become confident in my speech.

So while others may giggle at the little girl who was just about 5 years old when she began her lifelong love of Elvis; she became a woman who only stammers when extremely nervous and still loves Elvis, all thanks to not only some great fun therapists but mainly, my daddy.

Music does make a difference in our lives.

Is it an obsession of mine to listen to Elvis and all the great music of the 60’s? Maybe.

It helped me, more than I think most may realise.

Music is so powerful regardless of which type you listen to, we all have a connection to a certain song or artist and for me, well, it’s Elvis (despite being born four years after Elvis died)

Every time I listen to the ‘King’, I remember the little girls whose legs couldn't reach the ground, on the back of her daddy's bike singing her heart out to ‘Wooden Heart’ on her way to speech and language therapy.

That same little girl was able to hold a full conversation with only a glimmer of a stutter by the time her 7th birthday came around.

I don’t having a singing voice, but that’s never stopped me before. I sing all the time. I sing to Ethan especially.

He often smiles and tries to sing along, he claps and laughs excitedly, other times he stares at my mouth like he is trying remember what he once knew all too well.

I sing everything from Disney's classics to Barney’s top number one hit “I love you” and of course Elvis’s “Wooden Heart”, just like my daddy sang to me.

Music is most certainly powerful.

Thank you daddy for teaching me that x


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