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<p>I took DS and DD to the ped for a check-up today and everything checked out but she thinks that DS needs Early Intervention Speech Therapy. I feel like such a failure, like I've failed to teach him to speak clearer and not mumble. He turned 3 in Oct but the ped said that if she wasn't looking at him, that she would think he was 18 months!! I do NOT believe that he is that bad. He speaks in sentences, and generally is understandable but when he is around strangers, he clams up and acts goofy and mumbles, a lot. Most people who don't know him, can't understand him. But with us at home and with his family, we can understand him. A family friend was just talking last weekend about how great it is that she can understand him and have conversations with him now. The ped said that when he goes to school in 2 years (if I don't homeschool, which I didn't say to her) that the other kids will pick on him. In my mind, a lot of growth will occur in the next 2 years before school, so I haven't been worried. I know that he doesn't speak as well as other 3 year olds that we know, but I really felt that he would come into it in his own time. Now we are supposed to take him for an evaluation. I know that my hesitancy is an issue of pride ultimately, because I feel like it's my fault. We read many books a day (he absolutely loves to read) and we talk all day long, so I'm not sure what else I'm supposed to do, short of putting him in preschool (which is what the ped thinks should happen). Now I feel like I can never homeschool, because if I can't even teach him to speak well, then how can I teach anything more difficult than that??  I really didn't want my kids going to preschool, partially because of the cost and also because I never thought it was necessary. I'm just so sad now :(</p>
 

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<p>HUGS!!! My sister had to have speech therapy... and my parents taught all of us (2 older than her & one younger) to speak the same way obviously. It certainly wasn't my parents' fault that my sis needed extra help speaking, and it's definitely not your fault either!! I think you are being way too hard on yourself. I also don't think you need to send DS to preschool if you don't want to -- there are plenty of other ways for him to improve his speech, including therapy, playdates, music classes, etc.</p>
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<p>The speech therapist gave my sister little exercises to do, like rolling her tongue, making O's with her lips, repeating certain sounds, etc. I don't know what's changed in the past ~20 years in terms of therapy but it wasn't really a big deal for my sister or any of our family (and she speaks perfectly fine now, though she does tend to easily take on the local accent of wherever she is living!) :)</p>
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<p>I promise you, you are NOT a failure.</p>
 

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<p>Not terrible at all, I promise! If you're concerned, take him to be evalutated.  Doesn't hurt to see what they say, then you can decide whether you want to <em>do</em> anything.  Or wait, if you'd rather, and take notes.  Observe what he <em>can do</em>, so that you can give that info to the ped/evaluator at a visit.  But I definitely don't think you're terrible. I doubt it has anything at all to do with anything you have or haven't done--we're just all different, and it sounds like you know that already but feeling that your son will speak fine in his own time.  He's lucky to have you.  If you find that he might benefit from extra help, so be it, but it doesn't sound like you've done anything wrong.</p>
 

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<p>You're not a failure! I'm a mom of 5, a homeschooler AND a former speech language pathologist so that is my official stance, LOL.   You are right, a LOT of growth can and usually does occur in two years before school.  I think the evaluation certainly can't hurt, and would encourage you to try it, but be encouraged that others can understand him when he wants to open up.  FWIW, we have had more than a few pediatricians (mostly due to them moving out of our practice) and many were definitely clueless about speech therapy and when there was a need for it.</p>
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<p>You are doing so much to help him speak well, and you are concerned for him - I think you will be a great homeschooler with those things!  Don't take personally what he can't or won't do.   Even if you go for speech therapy with him, the therapists don't do anything "magical" and they can teach you how to do it at home.  The kids who made the most progress had the involved parents.  I don't think sending him off to a preschool would help unless it's a special therapeutic one.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<p>Thanks for the encouragement. I think that I'm feeling this way because I already feel so judged by family for our choices, i.e bfing, homebirth, me staying at home, etc. It's like some people I know are waiting for me to fail so they can say, aha! I told you that you were making bad/weird choices that could harm/affect your kids.</p>
 

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<p>When my twin sister and I were young, we were so shy that anyone not close family or friends never heard us talk. At our preschool evaluation, they told my mom we needed psychiatric evaluation because we wouldn't follow any of their directions and wouldn't speak. I literally never spoke a single word to my preschool teacher, the entire year. It wouldn't hurt to take him in, but it sounds like he's a much better speaker than what the ped saw. You are definitely NOT a failure! Good luck!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>southernmama47</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283330/i-feel-like-a-failure#post_16090944"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Thanks for the encouragement. I think that I'm feeling this way because I already feel so judged by family for our choices, i.e bfing, homebirth, me staying at home, etc. It's like some people I know are waiting for me to fail so they can say, aha! I told you that you were making bad/weird choices that could harm/affect your kids.</p>
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Well no one has to know about the evaluation/speech therapy/etc. unless you choose to tell them. Not that I think it's this terrible thing that should be kept secret, but there's simply no reason to share that info with anyone. If they ask you where you're going/what you're doing, just tell them you have a routine appointment (or if that will prompt them to dig further, just say you have a playdate).... know what I mean? I don't think you've failed at all, not even a little, and I'm sorry you feel so judged by the people around you -- that really stinks.</p>
 

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<p> I didn't think their was a problem with my ds's speech when he was 3, but my dh was starting to think so (he's an early elementary school teacher which is why I thinked he picked up on it).</p>
<p>We had him evaluated when we were trying to get a grant to admit him in the public preschool program (he was 4 at the time). The SLP he met with said there were some issues but nothing that wasn't developmentally okay at the time and nothing that warranted public services. We had some exercises to do at home which we did try, we probably could have been more consistent with it.</p>
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<p>He just entered K this year and he is getting a little bit of help for his speech. He really didn't pick up a lot through this past year and now a few of his speech problems are developmentally behind for his age. Although he does really well when we do the exercises. But in day to day speech he speeds it up and loses some of the sounds again. He is making huge progress this year though. He does see the schools SLP, but only for about 15 minutes a week (because as with public school, his delay is not bad enough to warrant "services"). So I am grateful that they are offering him a little time. Dh and I are still doing a lot of play exercises at home too.</p>
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<p>I have seen that sometimes other kids don't completely understand him. BUT, he has never been made fun of for his speech! Not saying that it couldn't happen, but I think that is a ridiculous reason for you ped to give. I also don't see that preschool would necessarily help, it might depending on the school and your child. My ds was in daycare from 2-4yrs and it took him over half the second year to talk to his teacher. If you were going to consider preschool for other reasons, like socialization than at that point you could go for it. Otherwise you may want to look into private speech help or speech help with the public schools/institutions that might offer it. But like our situation, public programs like with head start they may need to have a big enough developmental delay to warrant services with them. We can't afford the private help right now. I think ds will be fine though and is getting much more clear, his reading skills seem to be helping with it too.</p>
 

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<p>For those that have experience with EI, what exactly happens? I feel like I'm already hostile towards this program even though we haven't been through it yet. I am scared of them finding a "problem" because it's their job to do so, and of them telling me how to parent. I am SUPER distrustful of public education programs of any kind. Will they allow me to be at the sessions?</p>
 

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<p>I just took my 3 1/2 year old in today for his initial evaluation for speech.  He actually is in preschool, but it hasn't really helped his articulation at all.  I do intend to home school him when he hits Kindergarten actually.  That being said, the evaluation was easy, the person evaluating him agreed that he had some issues and put in the paperwork for him to get a full evaluation.</p>
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<p>DS also doesn't like to talk when he is around other people, he talks a ton at home, and we have been debating for over a year if we wanted to get him evaluated or not.  In the end I figured it can't hurt and if he needs the help it will probably help to have it done earlier rather then later.  DH was actually a bit more resistant then me, but we have finally started the process.  Honestly it really isn't anything you do, sometimes they just need help in speech.</p>
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<p>DD is 21 months and her speech tends to be clearer then DS' which is what really pushed us into going forward with the evaluation.  If it is nothing to worry about, he will just spend under an hour or so getting evaluated, and if it is an issue, well then you are being proactive about something that isn't your fault, and is just what happens sometimes.  Sometimes children have issues with speech, it is not anyone's fault, they just need a bit of extra help to get past it.</p>
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<p>FYI, preschool is not helping DS' speech at all, because he won't use more then 1 or 2 word phrases there since he knows he can't be understood.  He uses 4+ word sentences at home all the time since he knows that DH and I normally understand him so he feels far more confident at home using his words then he does in his preschool class with all the other children and teachers.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>southernmama47</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283330/i-feel-like-a-failure#post_16091110"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>For those that have experience with EI, what exactly happens? I feel like I'm already hostile towards this program even though we haven't been through it yet. I am scared of them finding a "problem" because it's their job to do so, and of them telling me how to parent. I am SUPER distrustful of public education programs of any kind. Will they allow me to be at the sessions?</p>
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<br><br><p>I am assuming it varies based on where you are.  But today for our initial evaluation the speech pathologist had a wheel with different pictures on it and asked DS what each thing was.  She then had a second wheel where DS had to tell her what the item was and what the picture was doing.  Like there was a dog eating, a cat sleeping etc.  He then talked to her a bit and answered a few questions she asked him, like name, age, what is a friend's name, what animals he knew, etc.  They then read a story together and they went through the pages again and he told her what the different animals in the story were doing.  It took under 30 minutes, and I was sitting right next to him the entire time, in fact she had to have me interpret what he said a couple of times.  It was easy, he was never alone with anyone and he had fun and enjoyed playing with some of the toys in the room  after wards when he was done and and the pathologist and I were discussing the results of the basic evaluation.</p>
 

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<p>My 3 year old will have an evaluation in a few weeks.  I don't see speech as something that a parent can teach to a child, so I don't think you should see it as a failure on your part.  People develop speech at different rates and some people have to overcome disabilities such as weak muscles or shape of the tongue or nuero features of the brain. I trust that the therapist that we will see wants the best for my child and our family, and I hope that you can develop that attitude towards yours.</p>
 

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<p>Ouch mama, as a parent whose 2 year old is hardly talking I'm a bit offended by the tone of your post.  I guess I can understand the panic that's behind it though.  We have just started with EI and I had many concerns about ds being labeled and parent involvement.  After our first meeting and getting to ask all those questions, I feel much better and am actually looking forward to usuing them.</p>
 

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<p>I'm going to chime in with speech isn't something you should feel like a failure about. I'm one of four kids, and I have one sister who had a really hard time with mumbling and talking to people outside of our immediate family. she had a lot of ear infections when she was a baby and toddler, and it delayed her learning certain sounds. she had speech therapy, but not until Jr. High, and after she had the therapy she blossomed socially, I think if she had it when she was younger she would have had a lot less anxiety over the idea of talking to people (and her anxiety was so bad that if she felt put on the spot to talk at all she would clam up and not talk for an hour or more after that). a speech therapist isn't going to tell you to change your whole parenting style, just give some exercises to work on any weak areas to give a little help to get the kid back on track. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>faithsstuff</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283330/i-feel-like-a-failure#post_16091287"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Ouch mama, as a parent whose 2 year old is hardly talking I'm a bit offended by the tone of your post.  I guess I can understand the panic that's behind it though.  We have just started with EI and I had many concerns about ds being labeled and parent involvement.  After our first meeting and getting to ask all those questions, I feel much better and am actually looking forward to usuing them.</p>
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<br><br><p>My post was not meant to offend and I was only brutally honest because I have nowhere else that I can be so honest. I do not think that anyone else who has a child in EI has "failed" either, this is not a judgment on anyone else, only myself and my own expectations. As I said later in the thread, I think I wouldn't feel so bad about this if I wasn't already so judged within my own family.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>southernmama47</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283330/i-feel-like-a-failure#post_16091110"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>For those that have experience with EI, what exactly happens? I feel like I'm already hostile towards this program even though we haven't been through it yet. I am scared of them finding a "problem" because it's their job to do so, and of them telling me how to parent. I am SUPER distrustful of public education programs of any kind. Will they allow me to be at the sessions?</p>
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<p>First, your son being a little behind in speech really has nothing to do with you.  Just like if he were behind in another area, it wouldn't have to do with you.  As a parent of 2 kids with delayed speech, it's hard not to take it personally that you think it's the parent's fault if a child is having trouble in some area.   You wouldn't tell that to the parent of a child with special needs, right?  Something to think about. </p>
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<p>As for your intense distrust about EI, going into it with that kind of attitude is really not going to help you OR your son.  It's not a public education program.  They're not there to give you lectures and tell you you're doing something wrong.  EI is a program to help give you and your son whatever services he could benefit from, like speech therapy. </p>
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<p>You're assigned a case manager who talks to you about what's going on, gets your opinion, and then suggests what specialists should evaluate him.   The specialists don't work for the government.  They are OTs, PTs, and STs from your own community, contracted by EI, who get reimbursed from EI for the services they provide so you don't have to pay anything (or very little).  In your son's case, the case manager would have him evaluated by a ST, who would determine by a standardized developmental exam what his delay is.  In my state, budget cuts mean many people who want services can't get them, even if the kids have a delay.  If you are lucky enough to get ST, then you'll learn lots of tips and techniques to help your son.  If he is lucky enough to have a small delay and not need services, then you'll still get some tips and info to help him on your own, and the reassurance that he'll likely catch up on his own.  It seems like a win-win for you, so I guess I'm not understanding your reaction.  But I know we all come to terms with these things in our own way.</p>
 

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I just want to tell you that it sounds to me like you are a great mom who is trying to do the best thing by your child. I don't know whether or not your son needs help but I will tell you that from my experience many docs are more concerned with finding a problem than trusting a mother's instincts. You know your son best. You don't want him in preschool and want to homeschool? Go for it. It is your decision and you also happen to be the best person suited to make it. I know it seems like I'm really down on docs, but it's just that I'm so tired of the medical community telling us what is best for our children beyond their physical health. If I want advice on how to raise my child, I'm going to ask a mother!<br><br>
Like I said I have no idea if your son actually needs speech therapy, but if I were you I might get a second opinion. Many children are late talkers and catch up just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
<p>Thank you ladies for giving me a different perspective on this issue. I realize that it came off judgemental of those with impaired children of whatever sort and I didn't mean for it to be offensive. I know that I need a different attitude towards this issue and this thread has been very helpful. I've been discussing all this with DH and we agree that DS's issues are not language or learning related but diction and pronunciation, and we could use the suggestions for having him form the correct sounds with his tongue and mouth.</p>
 

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<p>I'm glad this is helping you see it differently.  It really can be a positive thing for you and your son, and wouldn't it be nice to see him more able to communicate with his friends? </p>
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<p>I just wanted to pop back in and tell you that my DD1 is in preschool and several boys there have speech issues (pronunciation).  Being in preschool has no changed anything for them-- I know that two of them have started speech therapy though.  I don't think I've ever heard of speech issues as a reason to start kids in preschool, actually.  So please don't let this one thing make you feel like you have to question your plans for schooling.  It sounds like you're under a lot of pressure for your parenting choices already, but this one thing has nothing to do with that.</p>
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<p>ETA: I forgot to mention, as far as the EI people being judgmental about your parenting--our case manager told me that she breastfeeds and cosleeps with her own kids.  That's not unusual in our area, but it does go to show that not all employees for public programs are by nature anti-AP. </p>
 

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<p>All 3 of my children have/are going to be evaluated for speech delays, and I am quite a laid-back mama, I don't worry over small things. The girls were delayed but not enough to get services, here the delay has to be 25% or greater to qualify for EI. DS gets a full eval next week because he doesn't speak at all along with some mobility issues, he is 19 months. Like everyone else said, EI is there to help you. It is nothing you did, and it doesn't have to screw up homeschooling, we hsed with DD1 for a while with all her issues, but when we got to her dyslexia dx, I decided to let others take over. That was a bit much for me. </p>
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<p>As far as all the crap people are giving are about your choices, they can only do that if you allow them to. Shut it down, your parenting decisions are not up for discussion. </p>
 
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