I know I’ve been pretty rubbish keeping this up in the last few days but I do have good excuses. First, as I mentioned, I wasn’t feeling the hottest and the latest is that we have just been away in Accra for a couple of days.
The main reason we had gone up to Accra was because we had an appointment for Isambard to see a speech therapist here. She has been quite delayed in her speech and although she has come along in what seems leaps and bounds in her vocabulary, her pronunciation of words and formation of certain letters has been a concern for us. We’ve seen a speech therapist in the UK but as we seem to be here more and didn’t want to just wait for those times back in the UK we were told about one in Accra who works with a friend of ours who is linked to Sabre Charitable Trust and the teacher training programme.
It was a very relaxed visit. The therapist started off by blowing bubbles and getting her attention and then asking her to blow the bubbles too. We then just looked at some pictures and she was asked to say what they were. She was actually shyer than I thought she’d be and just kept turning to me and kissing me, which was lovely but I’m guessing not that useful for the therapist! Aubs was also in and out of the room, as the other three children were waiting outside.
What was great was that we finally have a name for her delayed speech. The Therapist said that she has a ‘phonological disorder‘. Might sound awful to some to have a ‘disorder’, but it is music to our ears to find that she has something specific and we can work on it. We were given a simple exercise to do with her which is to pick a sound she has difficulty pronouncing such as ‘c’ (as in car) and to read a list of words beginning with that letter to her a couple of times a day. She doesn’t have to repeat the words just listen. Having now started this I do find she tries to repeat them but I don’t make her say them and I certainly don’t ask her to repeat them if pronounced incorrectly.
I know it will all take time but it was great to hear that they didn’t think there was anything ‘wrong’ with her such as something physical, cognitive or neurological (although this can be a cause, but not in our case). It is most likely due to a number of factors; such as being the only girl in a large family, living in a country of more than one language, being born early, being fairly isolated when it comes to other similar aged friends etc. With her cousins next door and her little brother happy to play dolls and happy families (even if with two cars acting out Mummy and Daddy) she is now chatting much more during play which can only help.
One of my favourite schools, although it has recently been changed as it did have the word ‘child’ as the second word!