Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Speech Therapy

Ever since I got pregnant for the first time, God has taught me a lot about trusting Him and not being anxious. When I got pregnant, I worried about miscarriage or having a baby with a disability or that something I did/ate/drank was going to cause harm to the baby.  When I was pregnant with Noelle, I remember breaking down into tears thinking that I had lost her.

I always had to come back to the idea that no matter what I did or didn't do, the baby was in God's hands. No matter what happened, He loved that baby far more than I ever could.  And no matter what happened, God had a plan already mapped out for that baby.

Noelle at her first birthday photo shoot (Heather Boockholdt)

I've heard stories about parents holding their children in their arms as they die from cancer and I cannot even imagine that pain.  Just thinking about it always brings tears to my eyes.  There are so many things that can go wrong (or right for that matter), and I can't control them.  God already knows my children's futures, and I have to trust Him.  And believe me, that's a constant struggle.

Thankfully, both of my kids have been born healthy and happy.  But, our big hurdle currently is getting Noelle to talk.  She just turned two at the beginning of July and only says a handful of words, and even so, it's usually just the first syllable.  She does seem to comprehend what we're saying, but just doesn't communicate back to us with words. A year ago at her 12 month appointment, the doctor showed a little concern because the only thing she said at the time, was "uh-oh".  The norm for 1 year olds is to be able to say 3 words.  By about 15 months, she stopped saying "uh-oh", but did say "cat" and "dog" and used them appropriately.  

Beach Baby- 14 months

At that point, the doctor suggested we contact the Infants and Toddlers Program in our county to have her assessed and see if we qualified for speech therapy.  They came out and did the assessment, and though they agreed that she was a bit delayed, suggested holding off on therapy as she was still really young, and to call them in a few months if her speech didn't improve.  Fast forward to when she was about 20 months old, still not much improvement- she would say "sit" when she wanted us to sit somewhere and "uh" when she wanted up- the speech therapist came out again to assess her and suggested we move forward with therapy.

I am so thankful for this program!  It's a government funded program in the county and is free for us.  The therapist comes to our house about every two weeks and spends about a half hour reading and playing with Noelle to work on specific speech improvements.  The therapist is great and points out specific ways that I can do things with her throughout the day, and then leaves us with homework on specific words and sounds to work on until the next visit.

Being a goofball- 19 months

Even though everyone around me is quick to reassure me that she will be fine and will be talking soon enough, I've done some research about speech disabilities that make we worry about her future.  I worry that if she does get diagnosed with a speech disability, she may have to go to a special school or even learn sign language to communicate.  That would be a whole new world for us, and one that we would gladly enter if it meant being able to communicate with her.

At her two year appointment, the doctor was encouraged that the therapy seemed to be helping, but suggested I take her to get developmental pediatric services to have her assessed by a speech pathologist. I'm now in the process of figuring out what insurance covers and then will make an appointment.

this girl mimics everything! taking her giraffe's temperature

All that being said, I still have to give it to God constantly.  He is in control, He knows her future, and He loves her much more than I can.

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