Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I understood my son last night.

I've been told before I spill my guts on this blog; this is going to be another occasion.

You know, Gentle Reader, of my son's speech problems. You may have a child like him, you may think you know. Perhaps you do. But it was bad. So bad that I was in tears this past December because I couldn't understand him and he was almost four.
What kind of mother am I, that I can't understand my preschool-age son? Where have I screwed up raising him not to speak clearly? These were the thoughts I had.
When he was not-quite-two, I think, he dropped a can on his foot. He's crying, in pain, near hysterical and I can't understand which foot or toe is hurting. I had to wait to see the ugly bruise appear the next day under his toenail, and then be reminded each time I saw his bare foot until it grew out.
He potty-trained remarkably easily, but he did have a (very) few nighttime accidents. Once he came in to us trying to tell us he'd wet his bed; we didn't understand and sent him back. He cried and protested all the way; I couldn't bear to wake up enough to find out what it was. I figured it out the next morning getting him dressed.

He didn't say hard-G or K; they were more N or D (when not the first sound). He omitted initial S, P, T, F and K entirely, along with L or R anywhere in a word. Forget blends (speedboat) or digraphs (shoe); when they had anything, it was a substitution. Usually D; sometimes N. I still don't quite know his code.
Some examples to clarify: As recently as a year ago, "milk" was niwt. Even this spring "Molly the cat" was Mahee da at.

So, since his surgery, we've been watching and waiting for changes. His speech therapist said as bright as he is that it's time to put more responsibility on him, so we have. Each day has brought progress; he now says P, F and T with regularity and S and K with reminders ("What, Dale? Who just jumped on the couch?") We've narrowed it to L, R, J, SH and CH. Blends are sporadic but he liked s'mores last week on vacation.

Last night, though, it hit me as he said his prayer. "Yord Desus Christ, Son of God, have mewsy on me, a sinneh."
Son of God. Really. Every single sound. And I cried. I reached over, pulled him into my lap, and I cried.
Like I said, it's been tough. But I understood my son last night.

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At 4:47 AM, Blogger Barb, sfo said...

God bless him; he is really coming along! How wonderful!

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Daisy said...

I have a different problem with my first, but I know the feeling of inadequacy with speech problems.

My situation is difficult because Echo can speak clearly when she wants to. L's and R's are still W's sometimes, but I know what she's saying when she says it. So I get comments (in frustration) sometimes about how I don't "make her talk." I've figured out (thanks to an iron-deficiency) how to "make her eat," how to "make her sleep," and even "make her use the potty." But I can't figure out how to make a child talk who doesn't want to. She's a tough kid, too, so I still don't get to know where it hurts if it does. She simply doesn't tell me. We are getting "further evaluation" for her speech delay in August, and I hope that will lead somewhere. I know it is difficult for you, but please be happy that Dale wants to talk to you.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Heather said...

How old is Echo, Daisy? It's good you're getting her in for an evaluation--if she needs help, the sooner you get it the less invasive (and probably shorter duration) it will need to be.

And a site that sells all kinds of stuff for speech delay is It's where Dale's therapist gets most of her stuff. I could spend a mortgage payment there, frankly.
We started though with a book. "It Takes Two to Talk," by Jan Pepper and Elaine Weitzman is available through that site. Then you'll get their catalog on paper and be off and running.

And hey, what happened to your blog? I miss reading it!

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Daisy said...

Thanks for the site. I'll check it out when I get home.

She just turned 4 June 10. Her speech delay is actually 2 cautions - she didn't do the animal pictures the way my doctor wants to see them done (just identified them, didn't want to talk about what the animals "did"), and wouldn't (couldn't) explain what you do with a chair. She also has a fine motor delay (doesn't do the thumb wiggling). Her skills have been sort of delayed in those areas before, but she usually caught up before a month after her birthday, and her large motor skills (climbing ladders, dressing herself) are actually slightly advanced.

Invasive? Is surgery that common? Yikes. I have a hard time when they have to draw her blood for her iron tests.

I shut down the blog because it was too weird to be anonymous and be personal at the same time. My husband and I are going to get our family site up soon, and I hope to re-start a blog (or two :)) with that. Besides with another surgery (now) under my belt, I have more energy and time.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I'm sorry to have misled you! I didn't mean surgery when I used the word "invasive." I meant into one's schedule. For example, Dale gets a half-hour of speech a week during the school year at our local elementary school (plus whatever we can get at home). I think if we'd waited, he'd need more--more therapy sessions, more travel, more evaluations. That's all I meant.

We'll probably never know how much of an influence his surgery had versus just the switch flipping in him. I'll admit, though, that even if yanking his tonsils and adenoids has meant nothing for his speech I have the "At least he doesn't snore anymore" to cling to.


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