My friend and fellow blogger Nickida just posted a great article about one of her son's who has a speech delay. She is new to the "delay" world and is not sure how to react when other's comment on his special need, she feels lost and not knowing what she should do. You can read her story at Nicki's Random Musing's titled Wishing and Waiting For Words.
I can say I have been in her shoes and got through it.
I thought I would share my story with you all and let it be known that it is OK, and you are not alone.
all 3 of my children have a speech delay, as well as ADHD. I blame their daddy. (haha, KIDDING)
but seriously all 3 have issues with speech. DD #1 also had developmental delays, sensory issues, and a speech delay. It was nothing I or my husband did. It just happeneds. I first noticed at a young age, she would freak out when we went some where new, so bad she would end up making herself sick and puke then wed leave. another thing I noticed when it came to sensory was she would not touch things, she didnt want to get dirty, and she would not get "messy" with her food. like spaghetti was out of the question.
We have a local agency called Area 12 that helps with these sort of problems. First they would come once a week, and get right down on the floor with her and play. They brought their own tools, they would play sorting, matching, opening closing, and touching various books with different textures inside. All the while getting her to talk to them during the play. If you want to play with this toy with me you need to talk first. as soon as she turned 3 years old they placed her an a 4day a week special ed preschool. there were only 5 kids in the class with a special education teacher and a teacher's assistant. while in the preschool not only was the teacher and assistant working with her but she was pulled outta class 2x a week for 20mins each to work with a Speech Teacher directly. She LOVED going to school, she loved new people, new friends, and her teachers. when she turned 4, that teacher moved on to a bigger school clear across town. I choose to follow that teacher to her new regular preschool class 20-25kids, because whatever she was doing was working! So I would drive the 15miles twice a day for 4days a week just so she could be with that teacher. by the time she was 5 and ready for kindergarten, she was over her developmental and sensory issues and ready for kindergarden. she only had speech left. and again the normal time frame was twice a week 20mins each time with a speech teacher right in the school. She was not in any special classes or treated any differently. halfway through the 2nd grade she had completed speech and was able to talk properly, clearly, and with ease.
We did not know she had ADHD until she was 7 in 2nd grade. She had a hard time focusing, staying focused, was always fidgeting, or moving around in her seat. She could not stay in one place for very long, she would dance, twirl, and sing in random places. this not only happened in the classroom, but in the hall, at home, out shopping, out to eat, ect. she could never sit still long enough to do anything. The 2nd grade teacher (who i adore), and the reading teacher brought it up to me at conferences. at first I was put off and hurt by their comments. like Who are you to tell me my child has ADHD thats nonsense. But after a couple days of thinking about it, talking it over with my husband and mother in law, I always go back to: wait until there older to see if they "grow out of it", or get them the help they need now just in case. So I said ok lets get her tested. First we visited with our family doctor, he referred us to a psychology doctor. She went in took a 20minute "tova" test. I sat in the room with her while she took the test. I was not to speak other then reminder her a couple times if she got off task to try and focus. The room was dark and quite, it was only her and I. She sat a computer desk, staring at the computer monitor there was a only a box shape on the monitor, there would be a smaller box inside the box it would either flash at the top or at the bottom. When it flashed at the top she had to push this button she held in her hand. If she pushed it to fast, to slow or randomly started pushing it you knew there was a problem with her concentration. She finished the test and we left, they sent us home with 2 questionnaires one for us and one for the teacher. A couple weeks later after they got the questionnaires back they prescribed 1 small dose Ritalin pill to be taken 20minutes before our next appointment. we got to the office and put back in the dark quite room and she "re-took" the same test, but this time she had medication. A week or so later the results were sent to our family doctor and he prescribed . Her math started to decline, so we went back to the doctor and he changed the dose to right after lunch and shortly before Math Class. That did wonders! I did not tell her teacher at first as I wanted to see what happened for myself. Her math greatly improved and at conferences I told the teacher what we had done. She too noticed a difference in her math scores.
DD#2 only had a speech delay. I knew this from DD #1 I knew the signs, and when she turned 3 they tried putting her in a school and she hated it. she kicked, hitted, bite the teacher, threw herself back hit her head on the cement wall, and when we pulled up to the stop sign by the school she would freak out!. That only lasted 2 weeks and I pulled her out. I knew something was wrong but could not pin point it or get the teacher's to tell me what happened. So I said screw this, and waited until she was 4 and able to go to dd #1's teacher. I again drove 15miles twice a day 4 days a week just so she could be with this teacher. she continued to get the 2x a week 20mins at a time speech help she needed from the speech teacher directly. all the while the preschool teacher was assisting with the speech on a daily basis. she is now in 2nd grade and done with speech.
She started having problems in Kindergarten at which time the teacher suggested maybe she had ADHD, this time I was prepared, I knew the drill and signs to watch for and I too thought the same thing. So we repeated the process and eventually she got put on Vyvanse 20mg in the morning. that worked for a year or so, and the beyond the bell staff (after school program) started talking about some behaviors she was having and how she wouldnt sit still. So we went back to the family doctor and went through the same procedure as before. it was night and day in her writing journal, the words were clearly written and she could actually tell the teacher what she had just wrote. before she would scribble it all down and by the time she got to the teacher's desk she forgot what she wrote. You could turn the page in her writing journal and see the day we started the medication.
My main concern with DD #2 is she is super small. she is now in 3rd grade and looks like she should be in kindergarten. I took her to a growth specialist and they ran some test took xrays ect. her bone density is 5 years, and she is 7 1/2. her chromosomes and blood work came back normal. the doctor stated that she will only grow to be about 5'4 (im only 5'5) and will be delayed when it comes to body changes. example most girls get their period around 12. she wont get it until she's 14, most girls stop growing 16 shell stop growing at 18. and a PRIME example of that is she is 7 1/2 in 3rd grade and JUST lost her two front teeth!!! (ive been pointing that out to our family, using that as a great example). There is NOTHING wrong with her. She is perfectly fine. just small. She has always been small, and always will be small. it hurts her when people ask her when is she gonna grow. why are you so small. they call her mouse (which she hates), or baby sissy bear. Shes not a baby she's almost 8 years old! It's hard buying clothes for her because she wear's a 4t. 4t clothes are "baby" clothes, clothes that come in 2pc sets, with dora, minnie mouse or princess's on them. not a problem if your 4. but when your 7 1/2 its a problem. she cant wear "big girl" clothes because there to big but dont want the smaller clothes because there babyish. she is the same size and weight as our 5 year old son. they get mistaken for twins. There is always a comparison being done between her and him by other people and I hate it. I hate it because I know it bother's her. I dont care what other people have to say about her, but she does, so it bother's me. OMG and like during this summer, we took swimming lessons, she passed with flying colors except the water is 4ft and she cant touch. so they told her and I come back next year after you grow and try again. really! I was so mad. they are using her "size" against her. she did nothing wrong, did everything she was suppose to do and how she was suppose to do it but couldnt touch while doing it. its like saying sorry your to "black". race, color, religion, size has nothing to do with it. if your qualified for it, then you should get it right along with the next person. ugh. my biggest fear is her peers who tower over her, will she be bullied because she is the smallest in the class?
DS also has a speech delay. I skipped trying when he was 3 because they were going to put him with the same teachers DD #2 had and hated. So I waited until he was 4 to put him in the class with the same teacher the girls had. (this teacher is so sought after, you have to request her in January, in order to get on her list for September. by February her class is full and it dont start until September. He like the girls had this teacher, and did 20mins 2x a week with a speech teacher. they both passed him onto kindergarten. I signed him up we did Kindergarten registration, he and I met his teachers ect in may of 2013. well 2 weeks before school starts I decided he wasent ready. his speech had not improved enough to where I felt he was ready. So I called the school board and got him switched over to TK (you have to be 4 for PK, 5 for TK or kindergarten). other then doing things he already did last year in school and is bored with it lol I think this extra year before going to Kindergarten will be great for him in developing more in the speech area.
He started preschool last year I didnt say anything to anyone about him or the girls and adhd. he was in a completely different school then they were currently. but shortly after he started the teachers had the dreadful conversation with me. we got him tested as well and sure enough he has adhd.
BUT with the proper ADHD medication my children are doing well in school because they are able to stay focused on the task at hand. They are still able to enjoy being a kid, running, biking, swimming, playing around, but when the time is appropriate not all the time like they used to. I do not "drug" my children. and to some it might come off that way. But until you lived in my house, and know my kids like my husband and I do, you dont know what is best for them and their future!
So I guess my advice to those experiencing any "issues" with your children would be... Get the child the help they need. see what services are offered to you in your area and go for it. Its never to early to get a head start on things. its a common question. would you rather wait until there older to see if they "grow out of it", or get them the help they need now just in case. The extra help now is not going to hurt them in the long run, but "waiting" will.
my advice when it comes to other peoples hurtful comments would be. I would say, dont you think I know he has an "issue", we are getting the help we need now to correct it. but it dont define who they are or who they are going to be later in life. I would let them know their comment's are not only hurtful to you but to them as well. Id let them know the child is not "stupid" they understand what your saying, they just dont know how to say things back. So you as the mother, father, caregiver will speak up for them, and stand up for them when the hurtful things are being said.
it is nothing you, your partner, your other children, or even the child have done wrong. They have a delay, get the help you need and move on. Don't let it define you or them.
Do you have comments, Questions, or Want to tell your story, please feel free to leave them in the comment section of this post.
- Beth Ann