Lately, I've faced a lot of reality. I exchanged emails with Carver's preschool teacher and SLP -a speech language pathologist, formerly known as a "speech therapist." :) It turns out Carver's not speaking much at school. I had figured that his IEPs and progress reports reflected his ability to perform in structured, formal testing situations and didn't worry too much about the low age equivalencies given. But I wanted to be sure. I was really surprised to find out that he's NOT talking at school. Strings of 3 words at BEST. Mostly single-word utterances. WHAT?! He's talking volumes at home. Granted, articulation is a major hurdle. But he's not letting that stop him. He speaks in paragraphs at home, disjointed sentences strung together with semi-colons or ellipses. So this is a major discrepancy. And it has me concerned for MANY reasons:
1. How can speech therapy be effective at school if he's not talking?
2. Why isn't he comfortable enough at school to talk? He used to talk up a storm at school - last year, different classroom, different teacher and therapist. What's happened?
3. I can't count on the school system. I've been coasting and it's time to get back in the driver's seat.
4. The clock is ticking and we're just under 2 years away from kindergarten. I'm kicking myself for wasting so much time.
SO... I'm diving into the search for a private speech therapist. I'd been on a waiting list and didn't know what else to do. Now we've been accepted to the local therapy center, but I'm not just taking whoever I get. Next Monday we meet with the first recommendation from my pediatrician. (HELLO?! Why didn't I ask him sooner? He's fabulous and knows an awful lot more than I realize.) I'm willing to drive about 30 minutes for therapy, the local place is 15 minutes. I'm hoping we're looking at every week. I've resisted the cost ($25 co-pay each visit), but how can I NOT do it?
But more importantly, it's good for me to have these moments where I get myself back on track at being Carver's #1 advocate. It's exhausting to worry all the time about him, to be constantly teaching and coaching him. I have 3 other kids, laundry, dishes, meals, church responsibilities, a husband and so many more parts to my life. It's a sticky balance between feeling guilty that I'm NOT doing more for Carver and letting myself relax to the point that I'm not doing much at all.
Whew. Add to all that the fact that I keep looking at my sweet 4 year old and wondering when he'll use the toilet and I want to throw in the towel completely!