For a year or so, I’ve been listening to my firstborn and wondering, just wondering, about a few of the sounds he makes. Now being an early childhood educator, I knew I was probably being a little over-curious. But this past spring, I called Unit 4 and requested a speech evaluation. Finally, a few months later I got a call saying his eval would be August 12.
I took Ellie to a friend’s house because I knew they’d get nothing accomplished with her there. ;) We headed to the Early Childhood Center where we met Maureen, a very sweet speech pathologist. She explained they would do the whole early childhood evaluation, as many times they get parents worried about “speech” but there are many other issues that are revealed in the screening.
Owen didn’t want to go in alone, so I sat outside the open door which was nice because I wanted to see what she did anyways. She asked Owen to do a series of things like stack 9 blocks, draw lines and shapes, and describe objects she laid out on the table. He had fun doing most of them, as witnessed by his hands in the air here:She said (later) that she won’t ever forget Owen because of what he did during one portion of the “test.” He was asked to look at 2 pictures and then she turned them over. Then she held up a matching picture and he was to tell her where to lay it down so it would be on top of it’s matching card. Does that make sense? Well, he did the 2 cards just fine. But then she did it with 3 cards, a house, a duck, and cup. He placed the first one fine, but looked confused about the second. He pointed at where to lay it down and then looked at the cards (which were turned over). He said “that one is wrong.” She asked him how he knew that since they hadn’t turned them over yet and he said “the numbers don’t match on the back.” We both laughed! She said she’d never had a kid pick up on the fact that they were labeled with numbers (for her benefit) on the back before. But of course, she still had to dock him that point even though he showed a higher level thinking skill. (boo to standardized tests)
Overall, he passed with flying colors and she said he an absolute joy to work with. She did hear the 3 sounds I was worried about, so I wasn’t a complete nutcase for requesting a screening. He replaces his /th/ sound with a /y/ sound. For example, instead of this, it sounds like yis. He also has trouble with a /r/ sound when it’s in a blend. For example, in crayons, it sounds more like cwayons. And lastly he struggles a bit with the /l/ sound. It sounds more like a /w/ or /y/. For example glasses sounds likes gwasses and leaf sounds like yeaf.
She said she never does speech therapy for the /th/sound because it almost always corrects itself. And for the /r/ and /l/, she said it is totally normal at his age. I’m supposed to just model over and over and she even suggested using a mirror so he can see what it looks like to make those sounds. So we’ll just work a little on those sounds extra hard as we start preschool here in a few weeks! It was an interesting experience to be on the other side of the teacher table for the first time. :) Glad to know that on paper, he’s right where he needs to be!