If you’re following my Instagram account, you will know about the ongoing issues I have had with Munchkin no2’s speech.
I initially thought there was a problem when she was around 2 years old. She had a very limited vocabulary and would only say “Mamma” although she had previously said other words, such as “Dadda” and “Nanna”.
I asked for a hearing test to rule out any hearing impairments. It took a long time for her to receive this, and I had to chase it up several times both with my GP and my health visitor. When she eventually did have a hearing test, they diagnosed glue ear and told me that she wasn’t hearing lower-level frequency sounds. They advised me that this may correct itself as she grows, however if it doesn’t then she would need to have grommets fitted.
A follow up test a year later showed that the glue ear had cleared up on its own and she passed her hearing test. By then her speech had improved slightly, she was using a wider range of words and her sentences were less broken, however the pronunciation still wasn’t improving, so I asked about what else I could do, and they suggested I ask for a referral to speech and language. I requested a referral through her nursery.
Speech and language was a lot quicker, they got in touch within a couple of weeks and an assessment was set up an over zoom. The therapist held up pictures and asked Munchkin No2 to say what she saw so she could assess her speech and then she made up a plan of what we could do moving forwards.
The report stated that she is doing 4 things:
Voicing: This is when a quiet sound is replaced by a loud sound so for example instead of saying “pig” she says “big” replacing the p with a b sound.
Backing: This is when a sound produced at the front of the mouth is replaced by a sound produced further back in the mouth. For example, instead of saying “dummy” she says “gummy”
Emitting fricative sounds: She misses out sounds in the middle of the word. For example, instead of saying “Elephant” she says “E-y-unt”
Final sound deletion: she misses out the end of some words for example instead of “glove” she said “glu”
She replaces a lot of sounds with “g” for example “Topsy and Tim” becomes “Goppy and Gim”
I was informed that there were no therapy sessions taking place at the time, due to Covid restrictions, so I would be implementing the therapy at home instead. I was already home-schooling both munchkins on and off during the various lockdowns, so that coupled with now having to try do speech therapy was very daunting and overwhelming.
I was sent a lot of information via email, including flash cards which I printed off and laminated. I researched and made up games with them, but it was hit and miss as to whether she would engage, I really must make activities fun, otherwise she loses interest quickly.
We were sent the information/activities in December and since then I have kind of been left to it really, without any further contact from the speech therapist. I emailed once to clarify something and never received a response.
A few weeks ago, I spoke on my stories about how I have been struggling to keep on top of the speech therapy as well as home-schooling and trying to prepare her for school in September. I felt as though I was failing her from every angle and have been really worried about her starting school in September.
Then 2 weeks ago I received a phone call from speech and language informing me that they would be giving Munchkin no2 four speech therapy sessions via video link before she starts school. To say I was relieved was an understatement. I shared my concerns with the lady I spoke to and felt heard and reassured. I am so glad she is going to have some professional assistance now, rather than me fumbling my way through.
Munchkin no2 has been amazing all the way through, she has been trying so hard and I have seen many improvements. She has so much patience with people when they are struggling to understand her. She repeats herself several times and even does little actions to help them grasp what she is saying! She has also started finding other ways of saying what she means if people aren’t quite getting it.
I really feel for her, starting school after having so many gaps in her nursery life due to Covid, and then with a speech disorder on top, but I am feeling more confident now that her speech therapy sessions are in place.
I will keep you updated as we go along.
Thank you for reading X