Thursday, 27 September 2012

Speech worries... UPDATED

I've thought that being a mum has made me a better teacher and being a teacher has made me a better mum. But lately I've had to question this.

We think Alex is developing a stutter. He really struggles to say the first word of almost all sentences, regardless of what sound/letter it is. He gets frustrated with himself and has started whispering when he can't get the words out. Usually this helps but he can't go through life whispering to everyone!

My wonderful Maternal-Child Health Nurse put us onto the local medical centre that has speech pathology, but Alex wont be seen until at least January- where he will be screened, and if he needs therapy, another wait until June-ish.

Being a teacher, I know the early signs of lots of different problems, and recently working with special needs children has given me access to Speech Pathologists and Psychologists and knowing some of the signs they look out for. I know that early intevention is the best senario for almost all difficulties in children, but am I seeing things that aren't really there? Are we jumping to conclusions? Do I know too much about the area and making things bigger than what they are?

I'm not sure I am. And since my mum and the staff at his Day Care have noticed his struggles as well, it makes me think I'm not making it up.

My other worry is that if there is a problem that can be helped with therapy, do I really want to wait until June (9ish months away) to begin working on it?

We have a list of private Speech Pathologists as well, but our health insurance doesn't cover Speech Therapy. So this option will be pricey, and money is not free-flowing at the moment...if ever!! But if it will help Alex in the long term, then I'm all for doing it.

All I really want is an assessment and for a professional in the field to say "Yes, we need to do something about this" or "No, wait to see if he will grow out of it".

And of course, the private Speechies are all busy and I had to leave messages and wait for them to return my calls. So for now...we wait.....

...I think I've said in previous posts....I'm not good at waiting.......

I spoke to a Speech Pathologist yesterday who put my mind at ease. She said due to Alex's age it's best to wait a few months to see what happens. Apparently if he is going to grow out of the stutter, then it's best to wait and see if he does. This suits the timeline we were given in the public system, so we might stay there. And trying to get an almost 3yr old to sit still for an assessment and then therapy is not realistic.

They don't know why some kids grow out of it and some don't, but it is commonly girls who do. This doesn't surprise me, when everything you hear says girls have better language skills earlier than boys.

She said that if we are super worried about it, we can still start earlier. I think if we did go privately, I'd definately see this Speech Pathologist. She was prepared to talk to me for 10minutes about it all and convince me NOT to pay $120 for her assessment. That to me says she's there for the interest of the child, not her business.

So we wait.....


Anonymous said...

You are doing the right thing as a mum, it may be nothing but if it is something, your on to it. Maybe when you get back to work you could ask some of the speechies at school for some tip?

Just Mum :) said...

I think you are right Bel. I'd rather have a speechie say you are overreacting than him have trouble down the track. And I would ask our speechie at school but she is a bit if a b***h so I'd rather not!!!!!!!

Mandy Blount said...

We went through exactly the same thing with Ash and ended up paying privately. But medicare has a scheme that we were eligible for which meant the first 6 sessions were half the rate. To be eligible, Ashton had to be assessed by his speachie, then our GP gave us a referral for medicare - easy!! I was so happy and now Ash speaks confidently. Best money we ever spent. We saw Vanessa from Chatty Children in Werribee - fantastic. I would highy recommend her.

Just Mum :) said...

Interesting you say that Mandy, coz the paperwork that the nurse sent out said something similar. But we went to the GP today and he said the Medicare scheme was only for super-severe cases. Once we get an assessment, we might try anohter doctor!!! Can I get the contact details of the lasy Ash saw? If you dont mind my asking, how much was the assessment?

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