The Speech Evaluation.
The speech therapy appointment went pretty well. (Except for the part where I left Ada at home with Tyler and she cried most of the time. Oh Ada.)
We got to the school a few minutes early and had to wait in the front entrance. While waiting I had a few moments of self doubt. What if Rosie just rode the bus to this school every morning? It would be so easy. I wouldn’t have to worry about curriculum, struggling with Ada while doing activities with Rosie…
I would get peace and quiet all day and get to spend time with Ada while Rosie went off and made friends and learned all she needs to know on her own.
The school was bright and clean, the staff was friendly.
Then the speech therapist came out to meet us and walk us back to her office. On the way there we passed a kindergarten class lined up against the wall outside of their classroom. One of the little boys smiled and ran up to the teacher and hugged her arm. He was kind of bouncing around, you know like little kids do. Rosie bounces around like that all the time, non-stop sometimes. The teacher scolded the little boy. She said to him, “If you don’t stop that you’ll go sit in the corner again!” Then we walked past them and I didn’t see what happened.
It’s school–I know there has to be order in the classroom or it will be chaos. They are there to learn, not play or snuggle the teacher. But I remembered that’s not what I want for my kids. Just…the whole package…not what I want for them. Moment of doubt passed, myself reassured about our choices!
I was nervous that the speech therapist was going to be critical of our choice to homeschool, but she wasn’t at all. Instead she said she thought it was great, and Rosie is way ahead with her reading skills.
Rosie was nervous and couldn’t sit still in the seat.
The speech therapist had Rosie read several pages worth of labeled pictures with different words like “pig” and “soldier” and “snow”. Then she held up picture cards and Rosie had to tell a sentence about what was going on in the picture. Rosie was still feeling nervous and she kept saying a word about the picture instead of a sentence, so the speech therapist just talked to her instead. Rosie was more than glad to chat.
I didn’t think Rosie would qualify for public school speech therapy since it’s only for serious cases that will impact education, but she did qualify. The speech therapist said Rosie has two issues. Obviously a problem with the letter R, which she may or may not outgrow. She also has a lateral lisp, which interferes with the pronunciation of several letters. I think she said S, SH, J, and Z. The lateral lisp isn’t something that kids grow out of. It requires speech therapy to correct it.
The steps you have to take to get speech therapy are kind of time consuming. I wish I’d started this earlier in the year! School is out at the end of May.
We have to wait four weeks, during which I do simple exercises with Rosie at home and keep a log of how she’s speaking words after each daily practice session. Apparently teachers have to do this in their classrooms also. After a month of that I have to report back to the speech therapist with the log. The speech therapist said this was mostly a formality–there’s little I could do at home that would correct the lateral lisp since it’s one of the things that requires more intensive help. That makes me feel good and bad at the same time. Good that it’s nothing I’ve lapsed in that’s caused her issues, and bad that it’s something she will struggle with.
After I report back to the therapist in four weeks, assuming Rosie is not magically cured, then we’ll set up a meeting with a special education team. That includes me, a kindergarten teacher, the speech therapist, and maybe someone else I’m forgetting. They’ll set up a plan for her therapy and I have to give written and verbal permission for it. THEN we can finally start.
Rosie isn’t very thrilled. She keeps saying she doesn’t need to go to that, she already knows how to talk. It didn’t help that the speech therapy office is inside of the special education classroom, where there was a big group of kids that were obviously different. Rosie is so sensitive and she feels like we’re criticizing her. The sad part is she keeps trying to slowly say the words correctly to prove her point–that she can talk–but she’s still saying them wrong.
I’m really glad we went ahead and got her evaluated now before it becomes a bigger issue. I don’t want anyone to make fun of her, that would crush her sensitive soul.