All three of my children have struggled with speech delays. If you know me you're probably thinking how can that be?? I clearly have no issues talking. I blame the Simpson genes! We all know Jeff is a man of few words. I have always said he chooses his words carefully. An art I continue to try and emulate. Anywhoo..Matthew began the slow to talk trend. In fact, I would say he had the most severe delay. He began therapy at 18 months. We had a wonderful therapist named Ms. Karla. She was the angel of speech therapists. Matthew was so frustrated with being unable to communicate that he would run from her, throw things at her, hit her. Wowza! He was a little pain! She hung in there and persevered and our little guy went from neery a word to talking in FULL BLOWN sentences. Seriously, one day he literally woke up and was like, "Mother, good morn, I would like toast and a cup of milk. Thank you so much. " Well, maybe not quite like that, but close. He never had to go to speech again after age 3. Then Caroline came along and struggled greatly with her speech. Unfortunately I had problems getting her qualified until she was three. I wish I had fought harder for early intervention because she is still in speech and struggles with stuttering.
So along comes Ellie and I will admit, I thought to myself, this is our talking kid! She is the third! By the time she is 18 months she will be talking in full sentences. Nope. Although she did say words. But, being I was a seasoned speech mom by now, I had her tested when she didn't say more than ten words at age one. She didn't qualify. Her speech seemed to cease in progressing from age one to two so I had her tested again. I had to admit this, but on the day of testing, I hoped she would under perform. I know it is mostly a numbers game when it comes to qualifying so the less she said, the better. I also knew that one of Ellie's problems with speech is that sometimes she has the words and other times, she can't make the sounds. Well, she was my shining pupil and completely underperformed and qualified. For a few months we had an intern because our beloved Ms. Karla was out on medical leave. When Karla returned this week, she was quite alarmed with the lack of progress Ellie has made. She recommended that we enroll Ellie in the special education preschool program next Fall. I will admit when I heard this voice mail, while at my internship yesterday, I cried. I am not sure why I cried? Maybe it was because I didn't realize her delay was the significant? Maybe it was because I can't imagine my last baby going to school FOUR days a week on a BUS!? Maybe it was because I don't want her to have to ride a bus when she is three but I have class and internship to contend with and I feel mommy guilt? Maybe it was PMS? Who knows!? But, once I calmed down, talked to Ms. Karla,whose opinion I trust implicitly and Jeff, I realized all the tears were for nothing. This is a good thing. Our girl will get the extra assistance she needs from specially trained teachers to learn to communicate better. She will be with other children who have the same types of difficulties. She will make new friends in a diverse environment and it is FREE. My tears soon dried and were replaced with emotions of joy and thankfulness that we have such wonderful resources available to us.
So in a few short, six months when Ellie is just three years old, she will head on a BUS to school! Time certainly does fly!