Everyone things that their child is a genius. Smart, at the very least.
So when I brought Sacha to be formally assessed by an SLP, I was expecting to hear things like “His non-verbal communication is making up for his lack of words” or “He’s just a little behind. It’s nothing to worry about.”
I was not expecting to read a diagnosis of:
- Severely Delayed Expressive Language
- Severe Phonological Delay
During the assessment, Sacha scored an age-appropriate standard score for receptive language. His expressive language, however, scored him in the second percentile. As in 2nd. As in 98% of children his age scored higher than him. His expressive language is the equivalent to that of a child aged 1 year 3 months. Sacha’s chronological age is 2 years 3 months.
It’s difficult, to say the least. To us, Sacha is a very smart boy. Seeing the words “severely delayed” when relating to our son is heart wrenching. I am asking myself how I could let this happen. Tony wants to know why Sacha is not vocalizing many phonemes. We read to him all the time. We speak to him all the time. He communicates with us in his round-about way. He has a fantastic memory, especially for details. He loves telling stories about things he sees, things he hears, games he plays, or crafts he makes. The only catch is that these stories are largely gestural and minimally vocal.
He can’t say oo, ay, aye (long i), eh, oh, or make any sounds that end in a consonant, or say his own name, his brother’s name, or the simplest words, such as eat or no, that he makes us guess in our eternal game of charades.
So we now play the waiting game for a block of speech therapy sessions to open up, always wondering what we could have done differently.