Grandparents are in a great position to sit back and observe grandchildren. The good and the bad. I take my time making a decision whether or not to talk to the kidults about a situation. Often it's a little bit of "advice" over a long period of time. Sometimes, though, I must present what I feel should be done. We are a household of procrastinators.
Braeden just turned eight. He still has a soft /r/ and he is embarrassed by not being able to pronounce it correctly. He confided in me last summer when we were reading books. He almost started crying ... "why can't I pronounce WORLD like everyone else?". Man, I almost started crying. I explained that children need to learn every single sound in our English language. His Mom had a soft /r/ for a long time also.
I brought it up to the kidults and they Googled it and for a short time, would practice with him. He told me he couldn't watch YouTube video exercises ... he just does better when someone is with him. At the start of school, I heard from another Mom that her son was getting speech therapy AT SCHOOL at no charge.
Braeden's teacher this year is Ms. Orme. He can't get that /r/ hard enough. Right before they went to his parent teacher conference, I asked them to ask her if we should have therapy for him ... because he doesn't want to speak up in class "in case people laugh at me". Oh, the teacher says yes, we have a speech pathologist on the District staff and we'll get him going right away. Both the teacher and the therapist emailed her what would be happening.
That was in October. Nothing has happened. I had to force Kate to email the teacher AND the therapist today (Nov 15). It's been over a month and they haven't even evaluated him yet! By the time he gets a once a week session school will be out for the summer. And we've lost another year!
If it doesn't start soon ... and maybe even if it does ... I'm going to get advice on using a pediatric speech pathologist and I will pay to get him some help. And they will have to pay me back.
Maybe I should have pushed harder earlier. Reading online made it sound like it wasn't a big issue until age 7. Today while playing Legos with Deacon ... I discovered he usually says /r/ words perfectly. (We practice Girls Rule and Boys Drool and then they love to make it the other way around, of course).
Now it will be rough on the big brother.