When I adopted Krystal she was just over a year old, and any speaking she did was toddler Chinese, which I couldn’t understand, and of course my English was just as foreign to her. She received speech therapy for a few months due to her receptive language skills (which was totally understandable), but that quickly improved and her therapist (and I) became more concerned with her expressive language.
We moved out of state when Krystal was 20 months old, and she had to be re-evaluated in our new state. They said she was right on track, but I’ve always had concerns. Each year and each new teacher I’ve brought it up, and each time they say, “Give her time.” And I’ve done that. We moved back when she was four, and I called the school to have a speech evaluation done again. The packet they sent me to fill out had guidelines for speech milestones. After reading it through, I never even sent it in, since the issues I was concerned about were considered still normal for her age, even though I didn’t notice it in any of her classmates.
Last year, in first grade, I requested an evaluation by the school’s speech therapist, who agreed she had some articulation issues, but they weren’t bad enough for her to get in-school services. She gave us some exercises to do at home, and by the end of the year she was saying her “sh” sounds properly.
This year, in second grade, her “r” sounds are the problem. They are so bad I sometimes don’t know what she is trying to say. Some people have tried to pass it off as an accent, but I can assure you it is not. She says “girl” as “gull”, for instance, and even the most entrenched Bostonian doesn’t go that far. We met again with the speech therapist at school, and we got the same message – yes, she has some issues, and here are some exercises you can do at home. I must confess we haven’t been as diligent with the exercises, and I will take most of the blame.
Last week she did a drawing at school of what her birth mother might look like, and a companion drawing of herself. I love that they look alike, except for ponytails in her own hair (even though she is not wearing her hair this way right now) and told her so.
Notice her spelling of “birth”? Still think it’s an accent problem?