Yes, that´s right. We´ve hit the dreaded speech development wall. My girl, Camila, turned 3 years old in August. She´s been making sounds and talking up a storm as soon as she discovered she could. She has never been the calladita type. She´s loud, full of energy and always has something to say. Problem is, only a handful of people actually understand what she is saying.
She is up to speed with the amount of words in her bilingual repertoire and with the ability to construct sentences. She also is really savvy at using the correct tenses and picks up new words very, very quickly. Where she has a problem is in the clarity and pronunciation of her words.
Now, take a wild guess how many times I´ve been asked if it is due to her being bilingual? I´ve stopped counting, it´s just not worth it. And, it´s not coming from strangers or people who don´t know better. The question has been raised within the confines of our ML@H household. Yes, both my husband and I have questioned the fact that both of us only speak Spanish to her. I question it, but immediately dismiss it because I know better. If it wasn´t for the last two years of keeping up SpanglishBaby, reading our experts amazing advice, reading your stories and comments on our Forum and Facebook, plus researching for our Must Read articles I probably would have had falsely credited her bilingualism to her delay.
The fact is that this type of speech delay has been common in my family and my husbands. Also, she has no problem distinguishing between Spanish and English words and using them when appropriate. Plus, her word count is where it needs to be. If she was bilingual or not she would still have a speech clarity delay. Punto.
We go in for her first formal evaluation in three weeks. I will let you know how it goes and what I continue to learn from this experience. Stay tuned for a post in the coming weeks with expert advice on how to handle the perceived notion of bilingualism as the cause of speech delay.
Now, please tell me, has your bilingual child gone through speech therapy? How was the experience and what should I prepare myself, and Camila, for? Thank you!!