By Laura Barnes
Poppy was and still is a delightful child, she is my third born after a large gap. She was born the day after my birthday and I always refer to her as a birthday gift from my mum who passed away 4 years previously. Poppy first smiled at 5 weeks of age and since that day, she hasn’t had a day that she doesn’t smile. I began to feel concerned with Poppy’s speech at around 18 months old as she was not babbling, saying dada, mama. I relayed my concerns to the health visitor at Poppy’s 2 year check, who told me she is a lovely little girl who poured tea from a toy teapot and put each colour peg into a hole in a board. That was it. No other discussion.
So I took Poppy home and we muddled along with the use of smiles, hand gestures (thanks Mr Tumble) and a lot of learning as we continued this journey. I continued to push for SALT and we was eventually offered a block of sessions at our local hospital. We were seen every other week for 8 weeks and in that time Poppy did not utter a sound. Then we were discharged! Poppy began reception class at the age of 4 and it soon became very clear that she was not at the same level for her speech. We were eventually seen by the amazing team at the neuroscience department at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. It was here that Poppy (now aged 6) was diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder, under this term; severe expressive language disorder, severe speech sound disorder and a little later a diagnosis of a severe stammer.
Poppy is now 8, almost 9 years of age and we have finally found a school that is supportive of not just her but our entire family – The Moor House School And College. Sadly for Poppy, and for me as her mother to get her into the right, appropriate schooling I am having to go to a tribunal. Thank you for reading our story, thank you to RADLD for allowing me to share our story and a huge thank you to the Moor House School and College for helping us see a bright, and happy future for our smiler. X
Thank you for sharing your story Laura. It shouldn’t be so ridiculously hard to fight for what you need. I’m sorry.