AN END OF SCHOOL YEAR SPEECH UPDATE

It's been about a year since we began preparing to start the process of transitioning out of in-home speech therapy through Early Intervention to further evaluations and IEPs, to sending our daughter to preschool where she would continue to receive speech services through the school district.

I haven't posted much of an update since then. She had her last day of school last week and, naturally, I'm in a mood to reflect on how far she's come. You know, more than the usual nighttime reflecting after they've gone to bed.

She started preschool just after she turned three with about 30 words in her expressive vocabulary. (Typically, a two-year-old can say about 100, going on to nearly triple that over the next few months.) She went to school twice a week for a few hours each day. Much of her time was spent doing regular preschool activities, with a dedicated amount of time spent working just on speech.

Child with speech delay in early intervention



She worked so hard. I know this because she's the most determined person I know, and also because every time I picked her up from school, and every time I've pointed out how well she's speaking, her response has always been, "Yes. I work really hard at school."

She's worked hard, and she has excelled. I can't begin to count how many words she can say now. She asks genuine, sincere questions, relays information, tells stories, and expresses, very clearly, how she's feeling. She doesn't rush through what she's saying, and she thoughtfully waits until she has the right word.

She is so incredibly proud of herself, and my heart is so full when I see how confident she is

She might not have quite as many words as non-delayed peers her age, but she certainly speaks more than most. She will strike up a conversation, and carry it on, easily. She's a natural in social settings, and she's made many friends.

I can't help but marvel that the sweet girl I took to school on the first day, who couldn't quite tell me how she was feeling, asked me in the week leading up to her last day, "Mom, can I take treats to school to give to my friends?" as she listed them off by name.

So where do we go from here?

Since she's on a traditional school schedule (unlike my oldest who is on year-round), we have the summer off. She will still have another evaluation to determine what services she qualifies for, but it is almost certain that she will be returning to her school in the fall, and will continue working with her speech pathologist. We will have another IEP shortly before she starts to determine what will be most beneficial to her.

In the meantime, we will continue to work at home, as we do, on expressing our feelings, describing what we're doing, imagining, reading, and never tiring of hearing, "Why?"

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