Like most parents, I only want what is best for my children. If they are in pain I would do anything to fix it, which is why we had tubes put in Lauren's ears. (So thankful we did.) If they cannot figure out how to do something, we teach them. And if we think they may be delayed, we have them checked out before it becomes an even bigger issue. That's why, after consulting with an ENT, we decided to get Brenden's hearing and speech evaluated.
His hearing test was a few weeks ago. I wasn't sure what to expect and I didn't know how Brenden would behave. It turned out to be pretty simple and Brenden did better than I could have ever expected. They tested the pressure in his ears and how his middle ear reacted to sound, which were both fine. Next, she showed him a paper with pictures on it and made sure he knew what they all were. Then she closed us into a sound proof booth, put some headphones on him, and asked him to point to different things, which he did with no problems.
His last test was to clap when he heard beeps, which he thought was hilarious. A few minutes later she declared his hearing to be "perfect". She also said that he did extremely well and surprised her by following all of her directions. I have to admit, I was surprised, too. His reward was a toy car from their office and a chocolate shake from Braum's, plus lots of "good job, Brenden!"
Today we had his speech evaluation. This was the one that made me the most nervous. Ever since he started preschool I've been concerned that he is behind. I even had a
nosy rude concerned grandparent at the park ask me if he was in speech therapy yet, but I think that's because her daughter is a speech therapist. I really wanted to know if there was anything we needed to be doing at home to help him or if something more worrisome was going on.
The doctor was extremely nice and Brenden was immediately at ease with her, which he is with most people. She had him tell her about different pictures, all of which he was able to identify. In the middle of that she turned to me and said, "He's got a great vocabulary. Most three year olds don't know all of these." At the end, she let him play with some toys while she explained what the test showed.
Surprisingly, he's a little ahead of the curve. He's 3 years 9 months and he's on par with a 3 year 11 month old, so just a bit. She said that he can say all of the different sounds but that he just doesn't have them all in the right places yet, which is totally normal. For example, he substitutes "W's" for "L's" (Example: Saying "ye-whoa" instead of "yellow") but that's okay. He can say them, which means eventually he'll get them in the right places.
Besides learning that he's totally okay and that there is no need to worry or do any special work with him, she also explained that most kids are resistant if you ask them to say a certain sound. I've noticed that he does this if we ask him to correct a way he says something. Like "wipe" when he really means "white". The best way to handle it is to repeat the word back to him correctly, which we usually do. Someday he'll get it on his own.
I am just so completely relieved to know exactly where he stands and that he's on track for his age. If there had been something we needed to work on we would have done it, but now we can focus on other things to help him out next year in school, like writing his letters and knowing the sounds they make.
Or maybe how to play nicely with his sister. That would help a ton. :)
It may look like a hug, but he's really trying to tackle her. Sigh...