I must exit the political arena for a brief moment and solicit some advise from the wise souls that browse this site. As September 10th draws near, I am faced with the dilemma of whether to put my youngest, Mason 3 ¾, into pre-school. The program is two days a week for three hours. What’s the big decision, you ask?
Mason has been diagnosed with a severe articulation disorder. (First thought to be apraxia, but now because of the progress that he has made in two years of speech therapy they are backing away from this opinion). He has a wonderful vocabulary (often referring to his older brother as a ‘liberal wiener’), a great sense of humor, and a desire to tell us so many things –but other than Justice, me, sometimes his dad (and a very few close friends)…no one can understand him. This frustrates the hell out of him. This comes in handy sometimes for me –like when he was pointing to a strange-looking old man in the supermarket asking, “Why ‘e so uggy?” “That’s not a buggy honey….”
Many kids with apraxia have only one or two (but often no) words. I always say, “For a kid that can’t talk –he never seems to shut up” (not in front of him of course). I have talked with his SLP (speech/language pathologist) about the possibility of beginning pre-school. She informed me that there are two schools of thought:
2) Some children get so frustrated in an environment where no one understands them that they totally withdraw and completely stop talking.
I was never a big believer in pre-school and used to just think it was an excuse for parents to slough off their kids for a few hours a day. However, Justice begged to go and really enjoyed the ‘social’ aspect of it. Mason also asks to go –some days, but others he says that ‘no one un-stand me mom’. I just want to cry –because they won’t understand him --and they will be frustrated and legally they won’t be able to tell me (he would be covered by the Children with Disabilities Act which seems to scare the hell out of teachers). Thus my dilemma…if there could be a ‘trial period’, and they could tell me if they were miserable and if he was miserable, I would give it a try. They won’t tell me though because legally they can’t. I want to show him that I have confidence in him and the major strides that he has made (one example: ‘T’ was boy or toy…now he says ‘b-o-u-y’ and ‘t-o-u-y’ –I know it seems small but was a MAJOR thing!) and let him have this experience.
Is it worth the chance if it erodes the self-confidence that speech therapy has built? I don’t have much longer to decide & I would love to hear some opinions!Sorry for the momentary self-indulgence…