So Dub had his four-year check up on Friday. For the most part it was routine – hearing test, eye test, vaccinations, development questions. The usual. Then the doctor expressed her concerns about his speech and maturity but what I hear is: you’ve failed.
How does a parent stop hearing those words when there are questions about what your child does and doesn’t know?
He has a great vocabulary, knows his ABCs, 123s, colors, shapes, and many of the things that he’s supposed to know at barely four years old but…as far as his speech, annunciation, and maturity he is more of a young three. Of course what I hear is: you haven’t done enough to get him speaking properly and you haven’t socialized him enough.
My logical side tells me that this isn’t what she’s saying but I guess I have some self doubt. I’m not that mom who schedules multiple playdates in a week, does regular crafts, or has structured learning time. We tend to do things on the fly which is how I roll in general. I am an introvert and I worry about it affecting my kids so yes, I am projecting my own feelings of guilt here. Big time! I know this, but it’s still there and knowing this doesn’t help stop that voice in the back of my head.
So where do we go from here? We were given a number to call to see if there is any cause for concern or if his normal is just a little slower than other kids. Deep down this is what I think it is since he was late to start speaking just like his older brother before him. He also speaks very clearly sometimes and other times he goes into gibberish. We sometimes joke that he’s a genius and speaks Chinese since that’s what his gibberish sounds like. All this time I’ve just assumed that he was on a slower path and have never really given it much thought beyond that. He has always been physical and seems to be advanced in that area, but to hear that your child is about a full year behind normal? That left a big knot in my gut.
I guess now I make some phone calls to get him evaluated and take it from there. I will also look into preschool programs for him since I think the extra time to socialize and be around kids who are speaking at various levels will be best for him. Obviously while I have been working with him on things that he should know to be prepared for starting school, there are just some things that I can’t teach him.
It looks like I need to call upon the village.
Do you suffer from mama guilt? How do you get over it when it seems like your child is behind in some areas?