Speech Class

Mateo didn’t say a word until after he was almost three. I went into a bit of a panic and signed him up for the services offered by the County of Marin. No fooling around there. If he had a delay, I wanted to know about it. Much better to face an issue head-on than to ignore it.

We attended speech therapy for year, with a lovely young woman named Cydney. She and I had a special bond because we were both adoptive mothers. Halfway through the year, she became pregnant, and is now the proud mama to a daughter and son.

Mateo and I loved speech class. We broke down words: “hel-i-cop-ter.” “ce-ment mix-er.” Kit-chen.” Cydney tapped the syllables out with her hand as Mateo said them. A very fun game. At home, I talked to him constantly. Tapped out every conversation. Had him blow through a straw to make bubbles. Made vowel and consonant sounds from morning till night. In fact, I talked so much I thought maybe I wasn’t letting him get a word in edgewise. Olivia talks a lot, as does Tim. Poor Mateo, maybe he got tired of trying to make himself heard.

Finally, after about a year of speech, Mateo suddenly started in full sentences, whole paragraphs. It was as if he’d been storing up all his ideas and could now, finally, let them out and express himself.

He hasn’t stopped talking since.

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2 Responses to “Speech Class”

  1. Carol Smith Power says:

    Kudos to you for taking control of a scary situation with your beloved Mateo. My son James encountered the same struggles as he did not speak until 3-4 with an 18 month developmental delay. Two years of speech therapy (thoroughly enjoying the phonetic exercises) and an extra year noted as “developmental first” was the trick to declassify him. I am proud and happy to say he will graduate high school in June and study Industrial Design in the fall. Yes he is still somewhat quiet but speaks eloquently when the mood strikes. “Still waters run deep” so he tends to surprise everyone. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs and to see how happy you are. You are a wonderful mom.

  2. Jessica says:

    Carol, thank you so much for sharing your story. Glad to hear you also enjoyed the phonetic exercises. The therapists are so skilled at making it fun. Sounds as if your James is creative and artistic (Industrial Design); Mateo is, too. Maybe something to do with visual vs. auditory learning? Still waters do indeed run deep as I learn every day. Thank you so much for reading the blog and commenting.

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