That is the statement Busters’ speech therapist uttered about 2 or 3 times at today’s speech therapy session. Each time it felt to me like a physical blow.....(My 4 year old son, Buster is currently battling apraxia).
I attended speech therapy this week in a very positive frame of mind because Buster has been doing so well at preschool. His preschool teacher freely agrees that he has a speech problem. But she also says that he mostly makes himself understood and has no trouble relating to the other children in the class…in fact, I have witnessed his enthusiastic, carefree and friendly interaction with the other children myself. He is a very cheeky, charismatic and outgoing child and he has gotten very adept at ‘charades’.
However, Busters speech therapist still seems to be intent upon sucking all hope away. She seems to focus on all the things that he can’t say, instead of the progress that he is making and the things that he can say (and couldn’t say a few months ago).
She seems to be especially worried about how he will handle kindergarten next year, his first year of formal schooling. I, on the other hand, and somewhat naively, was hoping that all the speech therapy sessions and home practice would cause a remarkable improvement in Busters speech so that he could fully participate in school!!
Her attitude, weather it is pessimistic or realistic, just makes me want to prove her wrong…actually, part way through the session I was truly thinking to my self #headdesk #headdesk. (perhaps I need to step away from twitter…nahhh). Toady I left the session feeling very despondent…but I have a deep resolve to help Buster’s speech reach its potential. I truly believe that his speech will improve so that he can be understood.
These past couple of weeks, Buster and I have been working on the sounds found at the end of words. For some reason he seems to leave the end sounds off most of his words so that many words sound the same. For example, he will say “four” instead of “fork” or “no” instead of “nose”. We have been using cards that try and emphasize that the meaning of words changes with the end sound. These are some examples:
This video shows how I have been using them to help Buster recognize the sounds at he ends of words.
For the next couple of weeks, our speech therapist wants us to keep working on these end sounds. Our speech therapist has also decided to take a more functional approach to Busters speech therapy. She wants me to come up with about 50-100 words that Buster uses consistently wrong. We will then go through each of these words and teach him how to say each, individual word. I now it will be a long, drawn-out process, but for the first time, I can see this new strategy really having the potential to make a difference to Busters everyday speech.
Even though I leave each therapy session feeling ‘down in the dumps’ I am not going to give up. I am determined to do everything I can to get Busters speech ‘adequate for kindergarten’ next year. Buster has made an enormous improvement in his speech this year. The speech therapist did actually say that today! I know that this improvement is mostly due to his speech therapist, so for that, I am grateful to her. The improvement Buster has made in his speech, and the way is he doing so well at preschool, is really giving me hope for the future!…despite what his speech therapist may think!
I'm linking this post up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for #IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays) Come over to Jess's (The Rock Star's) super cool blog and see what others are blogging about today :)