Since she was 4, my 7yr old has been attending speech therapy. She goes for a certain number of block sessions where she attends weekly and then we wait a few months for her to be called back.
When she first started out, her speech wasn't very clear at all and although I could understand her, most people couldn't which would cause a lot of frustration for her. She did manage to get her point across though, usually by dragging you to show you what she wanted. If you knew what she was talking about, you could usually guess, but if you didn't then it would be a real struggle for the pair of you.
Over the years she has made a lot of improvement, she used to find the letter S would appear at the beginning of most words, even when it wouldn't, such as saying Sish for fish. Even when you would get her to try Ffffff ish, she would say Ffffff sish.
A few years ago she was diagnosed as having a SLI (speech and language impairment) as her speech was delayed by about a year but also because she would have trouble finding the correct word to use. The way the speech therapist explained it to me was that she would look at a picture of a lighthouse and recognise it for what it was. Then she would go into her word file in her brain and search amongst her seaside words for the word she wanted but be unable to find it so she would say it was a lifeboat. Almost getting the correct answer, but not quite able. For two consecutive years there was even talk of sending her to a special speech school about 20 miles away for 5 mornings a week, but as there were limited spaces available she wasn't offered a place as her speech problems wasn't as severe as other children who needed a place more.
She last attended speech therapy before the summer holidays, but we missed the final one because it slipped my mind in the busy run up to the holidays and then we missed another one during the summer holidays as we never received the appointment letter. This morning though we received another letter inviting my 7yr old and her 5yr old sister who also has speech difficulties for an appointment and assessment on Friday to see if they still require help.
My 7yr old however doesn't want to go. She was in tears when I told her, crying "I'm a big girl now, I don't need to go! I can talk ok now and I can't miss school! I'm a junior and juniors don't need to go to speech. I AM NOT GOING AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"
Of course this started my 5yr old off as well who then started saying almost exactly the same thing, that she didn't need to go either as she can talk!
Looks like I'm going to have fun on Friday trying to get them to their appointment. I've explained it's just an assessment to see if they NEED help any more but still they are adamant they are not going! I just hope my mum can come as well otherwise I'll be dealing with both two tantruming girls and their mischievous sister!