So I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet on the blog, but we have had some (minor) concerns about Raya's speech--primarily "stuttering". However, what Raya does isn't really what you think of when you picture a kid who stutters....it's more that she just struggles with her fluency and tends to repeat words/phrases....the type of stuttering that can make a story take 20 minutes to tell instead of 5 ;-)
We asked to be referred to get a speech evaluation and it ended up taking months to hear back due to some communication errors, but last Friday we finally had our initial meeting---it went well!
It was hilarious to me because I used to work closely with speech pathologists when I worked as a school psychologist...and as she was going over my parental rights and showing me the evaluation consent forms, etc. it totally put me right back to when I did the exact same things with parents I used to work with haha. So weird!
Basically the speech pathologist is going to do a typical 60 day eval to see if there is any reason why Raya would need actual speech services. Based on her initial meeting I highly doubt she'll qualify for anything, but I'm glad we are just double checking! I kept telling Lee I'd rather look back and think "it was so funny that we were worried about her speech ---she talks so well now!" ....rather than look back in two years or something and think "man, I wish we would have had her checked a long time ago---we wasted so much time when she could have gotten some help!"
But long story short, the speech pathologist basically said that Raya has a slight /s/ lisp and she distorts or substitutes some sounds like /l/ and /r/ ....which are all totally typical at this age....and they aren't expected to have these mastered until ages 5-8 years, depending on the letter sound. So once Raya is in first grade if she continues to do these things *then* she would need some speech services, but at this time she said that the only true "error" Raya has is that she leaves off the ending /k/ sound in words ....like in "truck"....so they are going to work with her on that over this 60 day period.
The great thing is that this speech pathologist already goes to Raya's preschool once a week to work with other kids, so she just added Raya to her list and checks in on her now too.
As far as the stuttering, she still has to do more evaluation on that. She said in general kids this age often stutter/have fluency issues when they are trying to tell stories and get excited, etc. She said Raya does a lot of high level thinking/talking which then it's not uncommon for her thinking to get ahead of her speaking. Apparently the preschool teachers told her that Raya did more stuttering at the beginning of the year, but now they notice it mostly during large group sharing and stuff. So anyways, they are going to work with her a little and they told us to just make sure Raya doesn't think we are putting time constraints on her (i.e. don't tell her "hurry up, mommy has to cook dinner so tell me your story real quick") ...because obviously if she feels rushed it can cause more fluency issues.
....and then the assessments they do in the future will let us know the % of time that Raya is fluent vs. nonfluent...and if she is significantly less fluent than other kids her age she could possibly qualify for services next year just for fluency (not for the letter sounds, because like I said, I guess the issues she has for sounds are just developmental for her age). So far it doesn't sound like she's going to be considered significantly less fluent because they keep telling me that about half her preschool class does the same sort of "stuttering" and that it's mainly just the age. (Raya clearly stutters more than your average 3 year old, but it just looks unlikely that it's *significantly* more.)
Anyways, sorry for the long rambling post! I just wanted to document this so that in the future if Brielle starts doing the same thing I can look back and remember what they told me haha :-) And I will update in 60 days when I hear back about whether Raya will need any speech next year or not!
(And I was happy to see this in the email i got today from the speech pathologist:
" She's a really hard worker and is fun to work with! We are going to have fun :)"
...So proud of Miss Raya--I"m glad she worked hard and did everything she was asked to do!)
And now, since I can't leave you hanging without a picture, check out these cute dresses I got for $2.99 at the Children's Place outlet this weekend!! That's cheaper than a pair of sock you guys :-P No idea where we will wear them, but I couldn't pass them up for so cheap! (And they run SUPER small...Brielle is normaly a size 24 month and she's wearing the size 4 in the big girl section for this dress!