Since leaving the very reliable services of the hospital based speech therapy service some time ago now, Boy Lacer has been floundering around in the community based speech therapy service instead (in all fairness he no longer needed the hospital based service). The problem with our community based speech therapy service is that they might as well install a revolving door in the speech therapy building so that the ever changing staff at the unit can exit even quicker. Consequently I have forgotten how many speech therapists Boy Lacer has had now and can’t remember who the last person he saw was, probably because by now, going by his past record with speech therapists, she’s probably left already, so it doesn’t really matter.
Anyway one of the uniform things about all these speech therapists is, is that they all mutter something about Boy Lacer needing more speech therapy group time and then nothing would happen (they had originally given me the impression he’d be placed in a group around last September, luckily I didn’t place any stock in that date and Boy Lacer’s lovely nursery did such wonderful work with him, I didn’t think he was missing much anyway). So it was with great surprise when I got a phone call a few weeks ago from a speech therapy assistant saying they had a place for Boy Lacer on a course, of course this intensive course would happen to coincide with Mr. Lacer’s two weeks of annual leave, but we’d been sort of waiting for this course for such a long time and I wanted to get it over and done with, preferably without him missing any school, we decided to work the majority of our holiday around those dates (Boy Lacer will be missing just the last speech therapy session because of our travels). As it turns out Boy Lacer also has a hearing test in this fortnight, but like I say I’m just glad that these appointments aren’t in school time.
So despite this being a holiday, me and Boy Lacer had to get up ‘normal’ time today and get the two buses to the hospital where they were having the group. We’d never been to this hospital before (although I knew where it was), which was a novelty of sorts because thanks to Boy Lacer we know a great variety of hospitals in South West London. This particular hospital was a small provincial place, if it’d been in the country they’d have probably called it a cottage hospital, I just called it gloomy, the sort of place where if they’re not hiring it out for period hospital dramas set between the 1940s and the 1970s, the NHS is missing a revenue stream.
We eventually found the group and my first impression was how many extra members of staff a group with four year olds, as opposed to a group with 3 year olds (Boy Lacer’s last speech therapy group) requires. Staying with comparing the two groups, there is also an obviously different emphasis now that the clientel can all, with varying degrees of proficiency , speak. However Boy Lacer has been in the system so long now (since 1 year old) there is quite a big element for me of being told the same thing by well meaning speech therapists over and over again. Today’s session was on following your child’s lead in play, which I do anyway (there is little point in trying to force Boy Lacer to do something he doesn’t want to do) and then asking appropriate questions. The speech therapist was listening to me and Boy Lacer talk and she goes “Oh you’re really very good at asking the right questions”, that’s about three years of speech therapy for you, Boy Lacer has learnt to talk and I’ve began to wonder whether I should investigate speech therapist training.
After speech therapy we caught the bus back into town and did a little spot of shopping including lunch. Straight after lunch we were in John Lewis and Boy Lacer begins to look a bit pale and starts whimpering and rubbing his tummy, my heart sinks, I had made the slightly ambitious decision to do this trip without the pushchair and if Boy Lacer was going to have another episode where his movicol was going to really work, being in the middle of town, no pushchair, getting him home was going to be difficult. So I managed to convince him into the John Lewis kiddy toilets where although he did a wee and a spot of screaming (suggesting he was going to do something), he didn’t do anything else but seemed to recover. He tends to get tummy ache if he drinks his drink to fast and he’d just had lunch, so I think it was that instead this time. Luckily he is aware that if he drinks too fast he gets tummy ache but he hasn’t got as far as remembering that when he’s doing the actual drinking.
So we managed to finish our shopping and get the bus back home but all thoughts of fitting in that trip to the playground was forgotten.