Next Steps

This guy. None of my other children make me want to rip my hair our more than Lincoln. And I don’t think it’s just because he’s the current 2-year-old and 2-year-olds are sort of terrorists.

Linc still struggles with his expressive language skills. He’s had a speech therapist for months now, and has made a lot of progress when it comes to trying to say new words. But for some reason he can’t. Like, he physically struggles to make ANY hard consonant sounds or string words together. “Cereal” is “bee-yo”, even though he can make a “ssssssss” sound separately. “I love you, Mommy” is “Ya. Boo. Mama”, with full sentence breaks between each sound. It makes him completely unintelligible to most people and even I struggle when there aren’t a ton of context clues to help me guess. We had a fight the other day because he yelled “bosh” at me for 20 minutes before I realized he wanted to go play on the “porch”. Did he point at the porch? No. Did he stand in the middle of the room and shout “bosh” louder and louder while I begged him to try a different word? Yes. It can be pretty exhausting.

Right now he is lying across the couch, headbutting me in the ribs because he wants to sit closer to me that is physically possible, hanging off my arm while I type with one hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said “nah-sa”. “Nothing”.

At the end of May, we have a meeting with the transition team at the preschool, to see if they have space for him in their special needs program when he ages out of the state Birth to 3 program. I both really hope he gets in and am super nervous about it. He has gotten a lot out of having a therapist to work with him one-on-one, especially during these past¬†months when a lot of my time has been taken up with a new baby. I am sure his improvements have come from Miss Jill and he’d be even further behind now if it weren’t for her help. But he has so much trouble with his language, I worry about him being away from me. He can’t give me a report of his day, or relay what he’s nervous about, or tell me if someone is mean to him. He won’t be surrounded by people who “speak ¬†Lincoln” and know what he’s trying to say with the nonsense words he uses consistently for other words. Is a teacher going to have time to learn those things? Is he just going to end up more frustrated and having more meltdowns and basically hating everything about school starting at 3 years old? That is not a good start.

Of course, there is also a chance at our meeting the team says: “Sorry, a severe expressive language delay isn’t enough of a problem” and he isn’t accepted into the school at all. Then we’re looking at a whole different set of questions.

I am sure that one day, whether it’s one year or five years from now, Lincoln will talk like everyone else. We are being as proactive as possible to make sure this doesn’t hold him back long term and it seems unlikely a speech delay is a permanent problem. I am looking forward to the day when I can read this post (like SO MANY posts from 5, 6, 8 years ago) and think “Oh man, I totally forgot that was such a huge deal”. Reaching out towards that future helps during the screaming fits and tears and frustration. This too shall pass and one day Lincoln will tell me “I love you, Mom” and sound like a big kid instead of my baby. And I’ll have mixed feelings about that too.


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11 Responses to “Next Steps”

  1. Sarah says:

    This made me tear up. Hugs to you and positive energy in your direction that he gets what he needs and is happy.
    Sarah recently posted… Why I March

  2. Lindsey says:

    My son cj was also unintelligible to anyone exceot his father and i until he was about four. He did speech therapy with early intervention and then at the school. Now, hes out of speech therapy and we call him “the mayor” because of how vocal he is. This too shall pass.

  3. Erin says:

    Oh this beautiful!!! I love him. You are such a wonderful Mom!

  4. CD SLP says:

    Just an SLP who stumbled upon your blog. You may have already tried these things and I hate to be the “why don’t try this” commenter, but JUST in case: Your speech therapist could make a communication book with pictures of his favorite foods, places, people, toys, etc. He can use the pictures to let you know what he wants. He may even combine pictures (which uses the same mental process as combining words). Reducing the frustration is good for everybody and the research out there says that using tools like pictures will help boost his language in the long run. Also, some Birth to 3 programs are reluctant to work on articulation (rather than just language). I hope whoever works with your little guy is focusing on his speech AND language. :)

    • bebehblog says:

      We talked about a communication book, or at least pictures on the cabinets of things he often wants that we have trouble with (“cereal” vs “bagel” is a daily confusion) but I was afraid if just pointing was an option he might stop even trying to say words. But it’s definitely something our therapist has talked about.

  5. FourInchHeels says:

    Linc is so lucky to have you for parents :) You’re way on top of this, and that’s going to make all the difference in the world. Language delays are so hard, quadruply so when it’s at an already-tough age. This too shall pass, but I can imagine how endless it feels right now.

  6. Kami says:

    He sounds exactly like my Lincoln :)
    He received services through birth to three, and then he transferred to the preschool where he received speech therapy. He’s now in first grade and thriving! He still gets speech therapy 3 times per week, but it’s been really great for him. I’m sure your Linc will do fine :)
    Kami recently posted… 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration: Day 5 Recap

  7. We’re trying to get OT/PT for Jack through the school right now. It’s a PITA and his teacher thinks he’s not going to qualify. I have been fighting with pediatricians for the last 3 years to get me a referral and I’ve been getting the brush off. I just want to pull my hair out because I hear the “worst case” scenarios from the teacher and I want to avoid that BUT no one will give us the tools we need to resolve the issue before it gets to the worse case.

    If I get the denial, I’m going to start researching what Tricare covers (probably not a lot) but hopefully it’ll provide options for both of us if the schools can’t come through for us.
    Jennifer @ WrittenByJennifer recently posted… What I’ve Read Lately – January & February 2017

    • bebehblog says:

      I feel very lucky that our speech therapist encouraged me to continue to apply, even after Linc didn’t qualify the first time. She could see that it was a “do it now so you don’t have a worse problem later” situation. I’ve found it very frustrating that while I am 100% on board to get him help it feels like the system is set up as if most parents DON’T want to agree to services. They always seem surprised when I show up to meetings and agree to things.

    • bebehblog says:

      And I hope you can find the services Jack needs! We can research Tricare options together.

  8. Audrey says:

    I feel you on this. My son has been in speech for 3 years now and also has a hard time stringing words together as you call it. He has Childhood Speech Apraxia. Have you heard of that? It might be something to look into because they need certain speech therapy to help bring the words together correctly. Just a thought. We never heard of Apraxia before until it was mention to me like this and once I looked it up it changed my world and allowed us to get the right speech help (as well as get him into special ed preschool.)

    We believe my daughter has it as well. It’s hard to always be there interrupter and watch as they know what they want to say but just can’t seem to get anyone to understand.

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