Most of you know Zoe (4) was born with a severe cleft lip and palate. Both have been repaired (for now) but as severe as her cleft is, it affects speech and she will need continued surgeries over the years. She also has a condition called Hemifacial Microsomia with Goldenhar Syndrome. (No, there won't be a spelling quiz later.) This means even more surgeries and more complications on her speech production.
Now don't get me wrong ... Zoe is doing great. Her family and close friends understand probably 95% of what she says. She has a full vocabulary, talks in paragraphs and whole stories. She is on target for her language ... it's simply articulation. She cannot PHYSICALLY make certain sounds.
But strangers can only understand maybe 10% and it needs to be closer to 50%. She goes to speech therapy to help. But that is only 30 minutes 2 times per week.
So I had this bright idea to put her in a K4 program. It's only 3 hours per day but it forces her to speak. They don't understand her so she will have to work harder in her articulation. This is the ONLY reason I've sent her as she started the school year already meeting all the goals for the end of the year. For example, on day one ... "By the end of the school year, you will be able to write your whole name, first and last." said the teacher. Zoe thought she said: write your whole name, first and last. So she did. She held it up and said, "Like this?" :)
Monday was 1/2 way through the school year. She came home with a stamp that said, "Terrific job". I asked her, "What did you do to get this?" She said, "I didn't talk." Thinking she meant that she didn't talk when she was supposed to be quiet (like instruction time), I said, "Good job baby. It's good that you follow directions and don't talk when the teacher is talking."
She was like, "Oh no Mommy, I didn't talk ALLLLL day!"
Turns out she does this often. She barely talks at all at school. And when she DOESN'T talk, she is rewarded. (Yes, the school was aware of why we put her there.)
Can you spell I R O N Y??? Think I need to go down to that school and have a little ...