Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's not all roses and unicorns

My son can't talk.  That's a lie.  He can talk.  People just can't understand him.
Let's rewind.
Miles was slow to say many words and even slower to put multiple words together.  I spent much of the first two years he was home with us assuming it was because he was learning a completely new language at 10 months old.  I still think that's entirely legitimate.
My son is funny and kind.  He gives the best hugs and can figure out a locked container in seconds flat.  He is the fastest runner I know, and his smile lights up a room his smile illuminates the world that surrounds him.
But the articulation of thoughts and desires does not happen easily for him.
I want you guys to know this for a couple of reasons.  The first is because someday when he is a Noble Peace Prize Winner and has to give his acceptance speech and is a little bit nervous, I want him to know how far he's come.  The other reason is because I read blogs all day where everyone's kids sound perfect.  Which is awesome.  Some kids may be perfect (cough), but the reality is that I then compare my sons to them and their milestones.  I'm just putting it out there for you now.  My oldest son has trouble with his speech and he still isn't 100% potty trained (don't tell his preschool teacher).
Almost a year ago we took Miles to get tested for his speech.  Because he was almost three, and therefore the concern of the school district, he had a series of tests through the county before he turned three, and then a series of tests after he turned three.
In the tests post-birthday it came to our attention that he was all over the board.  The most discouraging test was that he tested at a 18 month level for speech.  (I won't mention here that he scored cognitively at a 5 year old level, because that would be bragging and incredibly unattractive.)  Like every reasonable and completely sane mother, I automatically assumed it was my fault. Maybe I wasn't talking to him enough.  Maybe I had him self-entertain too often.
Then we moved here.  And, like the jars of Miracle Whip I left behind four months ago, the school system that tested him is a distant memory from home.  I entered him into a Gaelic school because there was no room in any other school in the area (and you aren't just guaranteed a spot in the closest school here).  Anything you read says that learning another language increases the intelligence of a child, which is fantastic.  However, I couldn't help but feel like it was a mistake.  When Liam started surpassing him in sentence formation and emotional thoughts and concepts, I started to really get concerned.
I think his speech is getting better, and he has been tested again.  We're still waiting on something to happen (socialized healthcare works a bit differently - but not in a bad way).
The thing I've had accept is that it is my responsibility to work with him more.  That totally sounds like a no-brainer, right...especially coming from an educator.  The problem is that I've fallen into the trap that many parents I loathed in my past life fell into....thinking someone else must be helping him.  I feel horribly guilty for this.  And I know you all hate me now for admitting it. 

So I am now making the commitment to start working with him more.  Like any good and responsible parent I will work with him as his speech continues to develop.  I will stop getting out the crayons and paints so much and start busting out the flashcards.  Ouch.  Okay, maybe I'll use the markers and paints to somehow replace those awful flashcards.  Whatever it takes.

And mark my words,  I will get him to poop in the gosh darn toilet for goodness sake.


thewonderfulhappens said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Well, I know it isn't MY blog that goes on and on about my perfect kids. LOL. I understand and it is frustrating and hard. Adding transnational adoption to the mix makes you question everything. What is the cause? WHAT IS THE CAUSE? For Matthew, we are now at the point where he can talk and can express himself, it is just that he is still choosing anger and tantrums over speech a lot of the time. It takes him a long time to sort out a thought in his head and say it correctly and then to have a sibling who can just talk so fast and so eloquently is frustrating for him.
I seriously doubt Miles' problem has anything to do with you but it certainly can't hurt to put in some extra time with him! Good luck!

Jill said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We all know each child has strengths as well as areas that need extra work. As Moms, for each of our own kids - we see and know the areas that need the extra work every single day... and naturally, we worry. And then worry some more (about why, about the future, what to do now, what we should have done earlier, etc. etc.) And then we do our very best to help foster their strengths as well as develop the areas that may seem "weaker". And then we wait to see the results of our efforts and wonder in the meantime if we're doing the right things!? And if we're giving enough attention to their strengths as well as their areas that need more work? And all of that is part of what is so glorious and so terrifying about being a mom. At least for me. :)

sue said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

we have similar obstacles with c. it's wonderful and hard all at the same time to hear t grasping english and already calling me mama, especially when c still struggles. you are a great mom. and i know it's not your fault. but it's hard not to compare when their little friends speak so clearly. all this to say, i just wanted to stop in and say i think you're doing a fabulous job. miles is pure awesomeness and i'm glad to know him and your amazing family!

Wendy V. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have no doubt that he will be just fine. Thomas has had speech since he was 2 years old. We found out he had a 43% delay at that time. It was a long and very slow process for him to speak. There are days I would go back to that. LOL! He continued with speech until we moved here. It is now an articulation issue, but because he was being dismissed due to high numbers in the district (illegal maybe??), his school here doesn't feel he needs to be seen. So, I am in the same boat. I am doing activities here as well, so he sounds appropriate. Hang in there. It will click all at once.