Thursday, 9 May 2013

The importance of support

After Number One Son started to misbehave in the nursery, we approached the speech therapy services and asked for more support. As a result we got a long extra home visit that has been really beneficial, since we got advice relevant to the current developmental phase Number One Son is going through. Archaeologist Husband was present during the visit as well, so we had intensive training into the correct strategies and the speech therapist could assess Number One Son’s speech properly.

Now we know to apply input modelling in order to improve his pronunciation and try to introduce more verbs – partly helped by the game cards found under his bed when cleaning up. Storing all the presents and keeping his room at least in some order means that you forget what he actually has. Now we can play with delightful Finnish animal cards. It is good to have relatives and ‘godless parents’ who remember Number One Son.

It seems that his developmental progress is the key element to the new gains. Now he happily repeats words and goes ‘mm-mmm’ with you. Six months ago this was a distant dream and I was getting frustrated explaining everything in two word simple sentences and supporting his English while trying to keep his passive Finnish skills intact. Now he even occasionally repeats a word of Finnish. Not often, but ‘Ei’, ‘No’ in Finnish comes quickly if he really does not want something.

What does this learning curve teach us? It shows that one has to keep asking for support and inform authorities of any negative changes. With the normal schedule of monitoring visits, the speech therapist would have realised the need for support well into the summer term, and Number One Son would have got improved help only by the time of the reception class entry. One now only wonders how the families shy to ‘cause trouble’ or insist for help are managing to get support is anybody’s guess. Same question was aired by another NCT mother, whose child has a joint condition that was only spotted after they asked their GP for a referral to a pediatrician after the child did not learn to walk properly.

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