I've posted on here before about DS, questioning his speech/articulation and the fact that he drools a little still. He turned 3 in December, and still has some articulation issues that you might expect of a 3 year old. L's sound like w's or y's. R's aren't always there yet. I think strangers can understand nearly all of what he says, but I suppose I'm biased because I understand everything he says. When he talks, it's adorable. Sometimes I find myself secretly hoping he never figures out how to say certain words just right. I love the way he says them now so much.
Today we were driving and DS randomly said (stuttering some, trying to think of the right words to get his point accross), "Mommy, when the other kids talk, they don't sound like I do." I wondered if an older child in his class (of 3-6 year olds) said that he talked like a baby. I know that his teacher has practiced some articulation exercises in front of a mirror with him before. Maybe he picked up on something from her? I tried to question him some to get a better idea of what he was thinking, but he wasn't giving me much to go on. I asked him if he had been "practicing his sounds with Ms. Laura again". He said no, but "Ms. Laura doesn't sound like me either". I wish I had a better idea of what these statements meant to him. I decided just to tell him that I love the way he talks. I love talking to him, and I love listening to him, and I think he's perfect. Because to me he is. :)
As for language, I have absolutely zero concerns. He's been far beyond his same aged peers with regards to vocabulary, etc for a while. If someone uses a new word, he asks me what it means and then it's committed to memory. He has a knack for it. I'm not even worried about his articulation per se. I am a little worried about his drooling still. But now I get the added worry that he is picking up on some sort of negativity about the way he speaks. I plan on asking his preschool teacher if she has any ideas where this may have come from. It sort of made me sad, but I'm not sure it should have. Am I reading too much into this?
I can't speak to whether or not you are reading too much into this particular situation, but I can say that my DD did speech therapy at age 4 (she's 5 now) and LOVED it. She is (was) very verbal, articulate, strong vocabulary etc BUT she did have some articulation issues. Substituting T for K and D for G. Her pre-school teacher suggested speech therapy and since we had noticed the same issues we went ahead and did it. I don't regret for a moment having her do it. She learned rapidly, enjoyed the one on one time with her therapist, and gained a lot of confidence. All this to say that if your son is having some articulation issues speech therapy is an option to check out. I'm certainly glad we did it!
My son had some articulations issues at that age too. We saw an audiologist for another issue and he noticed it also. He advised us to see a speech therapist that specialized in articulation that he recommended and to be seen by our local school district. That being said he also told us that 99% of articulation issues are resolved by age 8 on their own. He personally pushed for therapy because he said children who have problems with articulation can be the subject of bullying when they enter school.
We chose not to see a speech therapist and worked with DS on proper pronunciation. It quickly cleared up and in our case it seemed to just be a habit. If it didn't clear up with gentle reminders on how to pronounce specific words we probably would have sought therapy.
It sounds like his speech is age appropriate, but the drooling/'sounding wet' might be worth an inquiry to a speech language pathologist. It's not typical to drool still at age 3, and it makes me wonder if he's got a bit of low tone in his mouth.
On the other hand, if he is concerned about it, I would pursue a meeting with your towns speech therapist. For self esteem alone, I might want someone to at least talk to my son to help him understand about speech differences.
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