This week I did something that was very hard for me. I put aside my mommy pride.
I take GREAT pride in being a mom of 2 great little kids. I LOVE being a mother and (almost) all of what comes with it. To Jeremiah and I, parenting is the most important job we have been given. My kids are my world!
That being said, I have been asking people (family, friends, other therapy professionals) what they thought of G’s speech. I heard a lot of the same; ‘He’s a boy’, ‘He’s too busy to talk’, ‘Boys are always later at talking’, etc etc. Does he use words, yes, but they are not always the right words. He says ‘ry-ry’ instead of dog; ‘woo woo guy’ instead of firefighter, ‘mmm-mmm’ instead of food. Most of the time we know what he is talking about, but not many other people do. I was just feeling kind of uneasy about the way he was communicating. Could he *gasp* be a little delayed in speech?!
So, for the past few months, I have been debating about taking G to see a specialist. In PT school we learned a bit about speech development, but mostly about child physical and motor development (which I have made sure my kids are stars in!) So I had a little background in the topic, but not much.
My PT clinic has a ‘sister clinic’ in Muscatine that specializes in physical, occupational, and speech therapy for kids. Since I know the staff there, I decided to start there.
The speech therapist did a mini-eval, having G try to name animals, colors, people, objects, count, etc. He was able to say several colors, a few names, and knew all his animal sounds, but not specific names of animals. She noticed right away when G became frustrated with not knowing how to express himself that he would just stop, and leave the activity to find something that he knew he could master, which is exactly what he does at home. She also hit the nail right on the head when she asked if he had a ‘stubborn’ personality. Oh boy, was she right!!! By the end of the visit, G was having more fun lining up the little blocks into a road than paying attention to pictures on the screen and talking with the therapist. Typical.
So, G is going to start speech therapy. It was hard for me to reach out for others for ‘help’. I want to be the kind of mom that can DO IT ALL for my kids! But I guess it is important to get outside help when needed. I don’t think people think we are lacking or lazy parents because our son is not talking the way we should, but I still feel a sort of hit to my ‘mommy pride’. No, G is not perfect, and neither am I. But we want him to be as close to it as he can come 😉
We are looking into getting him services through the AEA, but so far it’s a looong process. If that doesn’t work, he will go to our ‘sister clinic’ in Muscatine where I’m confident he will get great therapy. (Plus, I can always pester the therapists there about his care..haha!)
Maybe someday G will look back on his preschool years and thank us for taking his speech development into our own hands and pursuing therapy for him. Maybe, when he’s standing up on the podium/altar/school auditorium/concert stage, he will thank us for giving him such a great start in his verbal expression. Maybe someday he will thank me for putting aside my mommy pride. 😉