Speech Therapy

Nikolai attends speech therapy. There, I finally said it. I've almost felt ashamed that he was going and it has been hard for me to tell anyone. I felt like maybe its my fault, like maybe I haven't been a good teacher to my son. I don't want anyone to think something is wrong with him, because there's not. He talks so much, I never really thought he had a problem. Of course, he sounds like most 3 year old's, in the fact that sometimes what he's saying just doesn't come out real clear. When his doctor said that his speech just wasn't where it was supposed to be, I was shocked and confused. I immediately felt guilty. The doctor referred us to a local speech therapist. His evaluation lasted 30 minutes and I was so anxious to see what they thought. The speech therapist told me that he had artic. She explained that he had trouble pronouncing words the right way, like B's or F's at the end of words. I tried to ask as many questions as I could so I could best understand, but they were busy and I didn't get all the information I really wanted. I decided to do my own research on what the speech therapist called artic.
Artic, being short for articulation disorder, involves mispronouncing speech sounds by omitting, distorting, substituting, or adding sounds which can make speech difficult to understand. Many articulation errors are developmental in nature; that is some sounds are later developing, and many children will produce these sounds incorrectly until they mature. One example is the "th" sound, as in “thumb”. This is one of the latest sounds to develop (between the ages of 6 an 8). Therefore, if a 7-year-old can not yet say this sound, it is not reason to be concerned.The most common error sounds are s, l and r. Some school therapists will not treat children with these errors until they are 6 or 7; however, if a child shows that he can be stimulated for these sounds, therapy can be successful when children are younger. The earlier therapy begins, the more successful it will be. http://www.psllcnj.com/articulation_disorders.htm
In finding that information, I felt much better about why my son was attending speech therapy. Nikolai's been going to speech therapy for nearly 3 weeks, he attends 3 days a week for 30 minute increments. Every time he is done the speech therapist reports that he is doing really good. First they worked on words ending in the B sound, then F at the beginning and ending of words, now they are focusing on colors, ABC's, and handwriting skills. When I first told Logan about speech therapy he seemed aggravated. He said that our son is 3 and does not need speech therapy. A huge part of me agrees with him. Many kids can't pronounce words right until they have matured to a certain age. I do feel confident that Nikolai will get through speech therapy very quickly and speak more clearly because of it. I might not feel that he needs therapy, but it certainly can't hurt. Nikolai loves speech therapy. They play games, pretend their pirates, play with cars and play dough. It's very kid friendly. I have seen some improvements in his speech already. Instead of saying "sish" he now says "fish." Although at first I felt guilty and ashamed, I'm beginning to feel proud that he is getting help with his speech. He is such a bright young boy and I'm proud to call him mine. I love him so much and we're just lovin' our life the way it is.

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