Yesterday when I arrived at Swee'pea's daycare, his teacher asked me if I could talk for a few minutes. I felt immediately nervous, wondering what Swee'pea had done wrong, or what I had done wrong. He'd been home sick the day before, had he taken a turn for the worse? She looked pretty serious although as moved to the little chairs, she said it was nothing serious.
I guess when the kids turn two, they do a little milestone evaluation. She pulled out a chart with red x's and checks and pluses and minuses on it. Bottom line is they're concerned about his speech. His comprehension is good and she knows all his labels are there, that he knows what he's saying but that his pronunciation is quite unclear, especially his c's and h's -- they're nonexistent. I have most certainly noticed this, as I've mentioned in my letters to him, and I do worry from time to time when I hear other kids his age speaking clearly. So although I'm concerned that the daycare's concerned, I'm mostly kind of glad that they've identified it. They have a speech therapist who comes in and works with kids in their own group at the centre, and it's no charge to us. Which sounds like a great solution to me. She told me to think about and discuss it with my husband, but there's not mucht to think about.
On the one hand, I'm not that worried. I'm pretty certain that this is a speech problem and not a developmental or cognitive problem. I also suspect that the earlier you intervene with speech difficulties, the easier it may be to solve. They had identified some behaviours as not present or not reliably present that he does all the time at home, so they don't concern me. But I do have a little niggling fear that perhaps this could be the tip of the iceberg, that perhaps there are some serious concerns.
I'm still a bit stunned though, because I really thought it was just a matter of time, that all kids develop at different rates and with different strengths. I find myself wondering if other kids there, Swee'pea's friends, have gotten 'bad' reports on their milestones. Is this being proactive and better for the kids or is it intolerance and damaging?
Photo of (a few days ago): Crab apple blossoms
13 hours ago