Meet my daughter Macy.
She will be turning three this summer. She loves blowing and popping bubbles, playing doll house, singing (anything from her ABC's to "Rumor has it" by Adele), cuddling on the couch with us, and playing in the pool. She enjoys peek-a-boo, taking walks, swinging on swings, and reading books. One of her favorite things to say is "thank you!" as she gives you a coy smile. Most of the time (when she's not throwing a tantrum here or there) she is a happy, happy girl.
In many ways, Macy is normal, but she also has a speech delay. A year and a half ago, after realizing that her speech wasn't developing the way that it should, I realized she might have fluid in her ears. She'd only been diagnosed with two ear infections, so the doctor was skeptical, but after testing and waiting and testing again, we found out I was right.
She had tubes put in her ears, and we immediately noticed a change in her hearing. Speech, though, was slower to come. It would come in spurts; sometimes I'd think "Now she's really going to take off!" much like my 11-year-old did when she was a toddler, but then her speech development would slow down again.
She's been in speech therapy since October of last year, and I've definitely seen improvements. She is making great eye contact. She's starting to tell us what she wants (like "Cake!" "Cookies!" as she runs to the high chair.) But there are still struggles, like when she just won't tell us that she's hungry and she screams and cries, or when strangers walk up to her at the store, expecting to have a conversation with her ("Hello! What's your name? How old are you?") and Macy gives them a blank stare, or just ignores them.
I've found some good resources online, but I don't know anyone else with children who currently have speech delays. I, myself, didn't really talk intelligibly until I was five. From what I understand, speech delay can be hereditary, so this may be exactly how I was at this age. Times have changed, though, and parenting has gotten competitive. It can make it even more isolating when you hear people bantering back and forth about the latest thing their two-year-old can do, and your almost three-year-old isn't doing any of those things...
I am starting this blog--even though I have another active blog about music education--to connect to parents in the same or similar situation, to lend a listening ear, to offer strategies that have worked for Macy, and to offer resources to help develop your own child's speech. I am not a speech expert, just a mom trying to work with my daughter as much as possible so she is not only happy but developing the way she should be.
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