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Thursday, May 6, 2010

o'er hill and dale


This week we had two appointments for our Theo.  One with his doc, which went swimmingly--his speech was clear, his mood was bright, his thoughts were clever.  When Dr R. asked if Theo knew the other kids' names at the park, Theo put his little finger on his chin and said, "Hmm.  I'll have to think about what their names are."  No blocks, no repeated sounds.  Just Charm. 
The second appointment was on Wednesday, with the SLP Speech and Language Pathologist (oh look, the slp slp!).  This meeting was completely different, kid-wise, than the one the day before.  Initially, Theo had one small block "M-m-mom." Then some fluid sentences, then the choppy waters.  It was the reason we made the calls in the first place, but after a week and a half of much easier talking, and the wonderful exchange with his doc, this interrupted fluency with the SLP was upsetting.  And that she recommended so quickly that he continue with the assessment and get started in a speech group asap--it was a bit heavy for me.  Before I knew it, I was filling out forms and going over paperwork and setting up more testing.  (I didn't have the courage to ask why the h-e-double-hockey sticks they ask the 'race' question.  filling in the ethnicity form was mandatory to receive services--and the feds DO say ethnicity, which makes me more comfortable semantically, but the 'why' is still a mystery to me.)  So we go back next week for more testing, which is basically a conversation between Theo and the pathologist.  I hope it goes better--it was roasting in the school basement, and Theo cried when it was time to leave.  He actually ran out of the room and was very upset.  He didn't nap the day before, so he didn't sleep well at night either; maybe he'll be in a better mood, maybe the exchange wont be as taxing on him.
All the talk of IEP's and the formality of the paperwork, having to sign off that I, as the parent/guardian, consent to therapy and even the initial assessment--wow.  Now I see why parents of kids with other developmental issues shy away from treatment.  It is scary.  And to have to say that my brilliant child has a need that I cannot provide for, that he really isn't perfect...I hate that.  I'm rather sad.  And we WANT to do the right thing, we want him to keep his confidence and his charm, so we WILL continue.  And I think we are going to look into a play/pre-school class for the fall.  I know.  I changed my mind on that one.

Oh, my sweet boy!  I love you so! We'll continue with this speech trek with a prayer for you to feel successful.  You changed my life in a most wondrous way, little boy; HOORAY!

9 comments:

MindiJo said...

It IS scary. I have a little one in speech therapy, too. It gets easier. I promise. But to say, "yes, my child is less than perfect" isn't fun. Ever. Then you realize that they are perfect because of these little quirks. And it'll be good in the long run, because it'll reduce the chances of being teased about the way they talk.

Izzy used to have a high, squeaky voice and now it's hoarse. All the time. I'm a little worried about it. I think I need to get it checked out. If it's not one thing, it's another. The joys of being mommy. Right?

Jan said...

Pheww, you survived. It is daunting, isn't it. Lilah had therapy through the school for her large motor development, as there was a slight delay because of her feet (bilateral inversion- they roll inward, she didn't walk until she got orthotics.) I am glad we went, but in the end she didn't really need it that much. I felt better being proactive, though.

I still wonder if Theo's speech will smooth out as he grows, but I do agree it is better to start working on it early. They say they can make so much more progress quickly the younger they are.
In therapy, you still are the mom and you make the ultimate decisions. If you decide it's not necessary, you can choose to be done. Don't let them run you over.
Good Luck!

Jan said...

And just remember, on the spectrum of ALL kids, he is still very high- as you illustrate, he does speak, uses higher level words, etc. He is forming his words. They might not remind you of the big picture in therapy either :) but I am always good for that.

elizabeth said...

That does sound daunting. I hope it gets easier. :)

Confused Chaos said...

How do you keep from eating your babies every single day?

I'm thinking 'bout you.

Leanne said...

Motherhood is so hard. You have to make so many hard decisions, often ones you're not comfortable with or ready for. But the great thing is, you're very instincting and clearly tuned in. Agreed: your children are perfect in their imperfections. I hope his speech will be remembered as endearing rather than stressful (that's what the therapy will do!).

Love to you.

Anonymous said...

Let's get Ray and Theo together to play?! They're about the same age. Then you will realize that your son is doing great! Kids all learn at different rates.

I'm impressed that you are being proactive, but don't fear, dear Jenny! You have a wonderful son, and he's very "normal". (Is anyone ever normal?!) It's always scary with our first, that they might not be hitting the milestones at the appropriate rate. Consider the "experts'" advice, but it is ultimately your call. You know him best, and if he was just cranky, scared, etc. and what they saw was not his typical actions? They can only judge off of what they saw.

Let me reiterate, you are doing a wonderful job as a mother! Theo is very blessed to have you and Habtamu as parents.
Angie

Joni said...

Well done Jenny:) I'm proud of you, and have been thinking of you. It will iron out, the stress will subside eventually, just give yourself time to process things. Lucky kiddos, lucky parents, hugs and kisses all around:)

ethiopifinn said...

thanks angie, and all y'all for the encouragement. i would love to get ray and theo together to play. :)

we do feel theo is pretty typical (if not WAY above typical :), but his speech is a real issue. he himself has expressed a bit of frustration, so we will seek support for him. it is scary, with all the formalities, but theo not being able to get a word out before he runs out of breath is much scarier. we know we can decide to change direction at some point, but we will go ahead with the speech and language pathology with a positive outlook and expectation.
i published this post not long after the meeting, it is part of my process :) we're feeling pretty calm about it all -for now!!