My Husband and I had a meeting recently with a lady from the Special Educational Needs Department. The meeting took place in the nursery school Little A attends (we could see his little face bobbing up and down occasionally as he looked in the door window) Neither of us were really sure what to expect from this meeting. I guess we thought we would simply be talking about how to help A with his communication and speech, talk about positive steps we could all take and run through some good ideas for games he could play both in nursery and at home to help him.
We have both said all along we are not thinking he has any behavioural problems or learning difficulties. We still weren't really prepared to hear just how far back our little boy is. I would like to state here that I am aware developmental delays are common and he can catch up and I am aware that parents face much harder journeys with their children than this but I am still finding it difficult to process my thoughts and feelings and I hope people can respect that.
Throughout the meeting we all spoke about how A doesn't have much speech, has little understanding of questions put to him eg If you asked him his name he wouldn't respond, he hasn't a clue what you're on about! It was noted that he is a very social boy who maintains eye contact and has an overall enjoyment when in the class and gets on well in general. He doesn't interact much and isn't doing roll playing or imaginative play simply because he has very little physical speech (and without physical speech it's hard to have that in his head) he should be, at the age of nearly 4, using his imagination in that way and playing a little more with others and not so much on his own which he tends to do.
We had some great suggestions on ideas to help him start recognising colours and learning people's names and the nursery are going to supply us with a few bits to use at home which is just fantastic. We are being referred for hearing tests which I'm confident he will pass but that are necessary. In fact, he should have had that a fair while ago but he wasn't referred. He will also be referred to a paediatrician because there are concerns over his sleep which naturally would effect how he does at school.
In regards to the paediatrician, we are hoping to get some answers regarding his head banging at night which has always distressed is but we have been unable to get help for. As he is nearly 4 it's a behaviour he should be growing out of but he is no where near to growing out of it. I'm sure it's all to do with patterns of sleep and probably there isn't much we can do but I'm willing to see what a paediatrician makes of Little A and his whole development.
I guess what really threw me off was that the lady misunderstood the teacher and whilst talking about A she thought he wasn't even 3 yet and she was saying he was behind..when she realised he'll be 4 in a few months and starting school next September she said he is more behind than originally thought. And that just upsets me a little. You can't help but wonder if you did or didn't do something.
Anyway, it was a really positive meeting and we are still aware that of course milestones should be taken with a pinch of salt but sadly he's missing so many you can't turn a blind eye to that. Of course I am confident that we have great support especially as I don't think it's going to be easy!
Thank you to those of you who have read about little A in recent months and offered your support, especially when most of you face far tougher or longer journeys of your own. I very much appreciate it.