Will and I stopped by the pre-k center today to drop off paperwork for him to be screened for speech. He was my late bloomer for speaking at all and while he talks non-stop now, most of you would only get about 50-75% of what he's saying. I speak his language and when you've been around him a while you would, too, but if you've just met him or you're not around much, you wouldn't get much from him.
His teachers mentioned in the fall that they thought it was time to have Will evaluated for speech. His Sunday School teacher is one of the ladies in the preschool intervention program. Once I mentioned to her that we were questioning whether or not to have him screened she told us that she highly recommended it because she can only understand about 60% of what he's saying. I've sort of still dragged my feet getting him evaluated because I can understand him and it hasn't posed any problems yet, BUT the Sunday School teacher told me on the phone last week that the longer we wait the less of a chance there will be to get him in. Once he's in kindergarten they would likely skip right over him because it isn't causing him any problems academically. The thing that did me in is that James has started to mimic him in a teasing sort of way (not to be ugly, just to be funny) and I've decided it's not cute anymore...it's going to begin affecting his self-esteem and it just needs some work!
SO. Today is all about our starting point with Will. First, you need to know that Will is VERY shy. If he knows you or really if he's just playing around you, he is fine. If he has to speak to you he just won't unless he knows you well or feels comfortable with you. And even then sometimes he will cower behind me. He is a Mama's boy for SURE. He has always taken time to feel people and situations out where James will jump right in. Typical second child, I guess. He bases his feelings often on what he's reading from us and he's very introspective and quiet. Second, when he is speaking and we run into trouble understanding him, he is a PRO at context clues. I may have shared this story before, but we were coming home from school one day and I asked him what they had done in his class. He said they read a book about a "nom." After asking over and over what a "nom" was and trying different words that I thought were possibilities, he finally said, "Ugh. MOM. A NOM. Where chickens wive!" He told me yesterday (after becoming very frustrated that I couldn't figure out the word he was saying) that, "I just wish NAMES was wiff us!" James is usually his interpreter. Will has a HUGE, HUGE vocabulary. It has nothing to do with not knowing words...they just don't come out!
I will also say that between ages 2-3 we saw HUGE leaps and bounds with his speech but from 3-4 we haven't seen as many changes. I'm going to include two videos on this post that I'd intended to share next week. Both are "interviews" as he is approaching his birthday. I took the first one last year and the second one this year, just a few weeks ago.
We actually have a speech pathologist at preschool with us, only she isn't in the role of speech pathologist right now. She's a 2 year old preschool teacher who stays home with her four kids and just happens to have a speech degree. BUT we pulled her in the other day when considering what to write on Will's application. I know NOTHING about speech, but there are plenty of sounds that prior to four they don't worry about because they are developmental and he isn't behind. I *think* the sounds that concerned her were Fs, Ts, Ks, and Gs.
The screening today went great. We actually stopped by to drop off his paperwork and Mrs. A. (his Sunday School teacher) saw us and pulled us in to meet the speech pathologist. We interrupted their lunch, but Mrs. A wanted to get us on her calendar for a screening and while we were there she wanted Will to speak for the speech teacher. He was very, VERY shy at first and I thought he might not speak at all. He climbed into my lap and wouldn't answer any questions. They finally pulled him over to a table and pulled out a sheet with pictures on it and pointed to a picture to get him to say each word. He definitely thought it was a game. Mrs. A also got Will to tell the speech teacher about his Sunday School lesson recently. I think it's just because she knows what he knows (I don't think it's because of any sounds in particular), but she's gotten him to do this for me a few times recently, too. He will say that, "Dee-zus was baptized in da Dordan Wiver by Non da Baptist and a dove tame down fwom da sty." He actually said today that a pigeon came down from the sky and everyone thought it was hilarious.
He did GREAT on the screening. She wrote down a ton, TON of notes about his sounds and then she decided to start with two sounds - sp- and st-. We are supposed to work on those for at least 10 minutes a week for 4-6 weeks (and I need to tell his teachers which sounds to focus on as well). After 4-6 weeks they'll bring him back in to see if any progress has been made. I'm not sure where they'll go from there. She did mention speech twice a week today so we will see if that winds up being the case.
She said his is a phonological disorder (he is substituting sounds made in the back of the mouth with those made in the front of the mouth...because it's easier to say but at this point he should've outgrown that). For instance, he says "tup" instead of "cup." James actually did this for a LONG time, but his was very mild compared to Will. She also mentioned the word "liquid," but I have no idea what it was about. I can't wait to see all the progress he is going to make!!!