Monday 13 October 2014

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is something that I have been talking about since January, it is an aspect I had never thought that we would need to pursue with Leo in the beginning, but as he has got older and not said as much as his peers it is something we have realised we will need to explore. It all started back in January at Leo's 2 and a half year assessment, and it is here that I feel that we were let down. 9 Months later we have never heard back from our Health Visitor, she never did call us back up for the check up we were promised despite me calling repeatedly, she couldn't even find the time to return my voice mails. I still feel very let down by the system as if she had done her job properly, we would have been well into the system by now, but as it happens we have gone through nursery and managed to avoid our Health Visitor all together which has been a much more tranquil solution, as I am beyond angry with how she has treated us, and how she has just let Leo fall through the net.

I can't fault the nursery at all, they have helped us no end since Leo began with them in January, I have seen such an improvement in him and have absolutely no doubt that he is coming along nicely. I want the speech therapy in place to just give us that extra push and to make sure that my big boy is ready to start school next September. After a rather long wait (at least 20 weeks) we were issued a appointment to see the therapist for an initial assessment. Last Monday I popped along to the nursery for a meeting so that they could observe Leo and make a start with spurring Leo on. We met in the office and Leo was allowed to play with puzzle pieces on the table, he was presented with two different images and asked which one he would like, it was here they wanted him to use his words and tell them. Of course Leo did this no problem and they were happy with what they were hearing. In the half hour that we were in the office they heard him putting sentences together and really giving it a go. I came away feeling positive after this appointment, and for the first time I didn't feel like strangers were passing judgement on why Leo's speech is delayed. When I walked out of the 2 and a half year check I felt awful, I felt judged and that I was failing as a parent. No one deserves to feel like that, these people are here to help us achieve the best for our children, and that is all I want for Leo. I want him to be absolutely everything he can be, and I want to do my best to put him in the best stead to achieve his dreams. That's all any parent wants right? 

I know having spoken with Luke about the speech therapy that he was worried that Leo would fall behind, that he may be bullied and he may take a while to catch up, but strangely I haven't felt worried. Maybe I should feel worried? But I don't. I know that there is nothing wrong with Leo, I know that he is putting more and more together with every day that passes, it was just Saturday that he told me 'My feet are tired', 'I want to go on a train', 'I want to see the fish', I don't want to go to bed', and it was just last night he was singing 'I'm all about that bass, no trouble' to me, and it was just today that he was copying everything that I said and falling about in raptures giggling. Yes his speech has been delayed, and sometimes he speaks before he thinks and his words come out in an order that doesn't seem completely logical at times, but he is getting there. He will be fine. 

I no longer blame myself, I know it is not my fault and it would have been a relief to be told that back in January. It would have been complete magic to come away with some positive encouragement after that appointment, but I left feeling like I had let Leo down in some way. I am so glad that I shrugged that negativity off and focused on my boy the same way that I always have. I am open to all the help and advice that anyone puts my way, I welcome it with open arms because I only want the best for Leo, I have taken him to groups, special need groups along with everything else that we have always done. We read books, he absolutely loves his books, we play games and we head out into the world. Children progress at different times and rates, and I am so positive about the development I see each day, I am glad that we have been given the speech therapy that will spur my little guy on further, and although I shouldn't say it... I am secretly giving that snarky health visitor the finger. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura, I'm sorry I have missed your blog posts for some time (you have just popped up on my fb feed).
    I really would advocate you supporting Leo, as you do, petition the right people, and just focus on giving Leo your love, affection and time.
    I offer this advice as someone who has the same paranoias. Seren had her speech therapist referral after her 2 and a half year assessment, for no reason other than I insisted on it.
    You see I have a past.
    I had speech therapy until I was 9 years old. As a result of so much time off school for speech therapy and associated learning difficulties (I mirror wrote) I was placed in remedial classes (back then you could call them that.
    By secondary school everything was at it should be, I ended up doing my GCSEs, A-levels, Degree, Post Grad Degree.
    My brother has similar problems, he's followed his route, now has a successful tattoo studio and I maybe a little jealous.
    Speech difficulties, speech therapy, will only support Leo.
    But likewise, at this age, I would think the best focus will be what you are giving him.
    And yes, I have gone on to have exactly the same concerns about my sons, I have made myself be more relaxed (despite in my head thinking far worse) and I have had all concerns thrown out the window by their school.
    I am so sorry for the essay, but I think what I am saying is things will work out, but as someone who's been there- love and support, and positivity from mum and dad make everything ok. Take care xx


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