I hear the bedroom door creak and open my eyes slowly. It’s still dark and the shadowy figure beside the bed is little boy shaped.
‘Is it morning yet?’, DS asks hopefully.
‘No! Go back to bed’, DH and I reply in unison, and the small child pads away, back to his own bed.
I remain conscious long enough to think that we should try one of those ‘waking bunny’ clocks. This is a fantastic idea and well worth a try, but I will have forgotten it by the morning.
When morning arrives, so does DS, again.
‘It’s morning’, he points out unnecessarily, ‘I want to get into YOUR bed.’
Elbow, knees and feet dig into me as he clambers across to snuggle in between DH and I. He steals my pillow and chats away incessantly, so I give up on my lie in and go for a shower instead.
DS sits up as I get out of bed.
‘Where you going?’, he demands. I tell him I’m off to the bathroom.
‘Bye bye Mummy. Love you. Have a good shower.’ he says chirpily before turning his considerable vocal skills on his father.
‘Hello Daddy. It’s morning. Mummy is going to the shower. You can get up now.’
In the bathroom, I’m thinking about how much DS’s speech has improved. He has Verbal Dyspraxia and has had to work hard to be able to utter the short, simple sentences he has used this morning.
He’s doing really well but is it good enough? Like most mothers with kids with speech disorders, I find myself split in two.
On one hand I’m so proud of DS and what he’s achieved. On the other hand I’ve always got an ear out for errors in his speech and wonder if other people will be able to understand him.
In September, DS will start school at the mainstream school his sisters already attend. We have applied for a statement but I’m not holding my breath for help from that direction. Fortunately our Borough is going to be tacking reception aged kids onto their early year Speech Therapy program, so we will continue to be able to access Speech Therapy on the NHS for another year. It’s not going to be once a week, so we’ll have to sort out some private therapy as well, but it’s better than nothing.
I do worry about how he’s going to get on in school though. Luckily he’s extremely sociable and always wants to have his say, but what if the other kids don’t understand him? What if they won’t play with him? What if they laugh at him?
Here is my boy. He’s 4 years old and he has Verbal Dyspraxia. His speech is not great but he tries so hard. Please will you try to understand him?