Talking Points…

So I’m new to this whole world of speech therapy. I knew it existed but know very little about it. But I’m slowly learning. Caedmon had a screening done at his preschool this fall and discovered that he had some pronunciation issues. We had noticed that he was hard to understand with some things but hadn’t really thought much beyond that and didn’t know what was normal for a 3 year old and what wasn’t. Luckily someone tested him and found out that he would benefit from speech therapy.

I had no idea what to expect. Turns out he was making his hard C and G sounds in the front of his mouth and they are suppose to be made in his throat. I don’t really think of where and how I make my sounds and words, I just say them. And so we began. It took a few weeks for him to warm up and start practicing but now he is excited every Monday morning to go to “see Miss Linda” and is usually buckled in his car seat 20 minutes before we need to leave. I think part of the reason he gets excited is because he gets to choose a prize out of the prize basket at the end, but I’ll take it. After we conquer the Cs and Gs then there are blends and his L sounds. I’m going to miss a little how he says his Ls, they sound more likes Ys right now, which makes his favorite (actually all of our favorite) pizza place, “Yucky Pie” instead of “Lucky Pie”.

Luckily I was kind of clued in to the world of speech therapy shortly after Edric arrived home since we were just starting the adventure with Caedmon. After talking with his speech therapist we decided that after he was settled she would evaluate him. I knew from reading his medical reports and updates that he was likely behind in Korean because it was reported that he only knew 20-30 words as a 2 ½ year old, and I figured he should know more. I was actually right about that.

We had Edric evaluate a couple of weeks ago and not a big surprise he’s way behind. And I wasn’t surprised, he’s testing out at about a 12 month level, which given he was behind in his native language and then he’s been thrust into a totally new culture and world and language, it is no surprise that he’s behind. And I did good with all that the first week. And then we went again this week. And I left feeling totally overwhelmed. Realizing that he is almost 2 years behind in expressive and receptive language is a lot to swallow and feels a little like a huge mountain to climb. Or actually it feels A LOT like a huge mountain to climb. He seems to understand a lot of what we say and do at home and I talked with our speech therapist about that and she said, yes he probably does, but a lot of that is based on context and routine which is helpful but can’t carry him when he’s in a different environment.

I ended up talking with some friends and sending a few texts to people that have been in speech with their kids and letting them know I was feeling totally overwhelmed. Their encouragement and support and reminders were huge that day. And in the grand scheme of things, it is really a fairly minor thing. A number of families go through so much more with treatments, therapies, clinic visits, and so on. Sometimes taking a moment to stop and take a breath and re-focus does a huge amount of good.

It has helped Clint and I both re-do how we are talking with him and remembering to try and explain and demonstrate and point out as we go along. It’s hard to think of him at a 12 month level when the rest of him is running around being his 2 ½+ self. And so we are learning. In no way do we have any of this figured out, but one day at a time and one step at a time.