Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya….

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I think my Speech Language Pathologist is spying on my blog. Just sitting at home on her computer, as though she has nothing better to do, and searching my name in Google until she finally found my innermost thoughts and feelings (AKA this little gem of a blog). Could it just be a coincidence that the very same day that I finally dared to convey that I was so impressed with Jp’s improvement is the same exact day she thinks -for now- she has taken us as far as we can go? She is kicking us out of therapy. Whether I like it or not.

Okay, I’m not so paranoid and crazy (most of the time, anyway) that I truly believe that she is secretly stalking my blog.

I know that his improvements and new strides have not only been noticed by myself but by the trained professional hired to evaluate him. It would be more insulting, I suppose, if she hadn’t noticed. He is doing extraordinarily well for a child with a receptive language disorder.

I repeat…for a child with a receptive language disorder…

Okay, I am a super positive soul but I was floored when she said that. He is doing fantastic, amazing, and certainly better than I ever could have hoped for six months ago but he also attends therapy quite frequently. Is it fair to expect that progress will continue in the same fashion outside of structured play based therapy? Also, I am not as confident in her opinions of therapy completion since she thought he was “ready” months ago and that is when we discovered his receptive issue in the first place. At the time, I was unsure of his ability to progress on his own since he wasn’t using any sentences outside of mimicking but she assured me he was where he was supposed to be and I, knowing close to nothing about the trade, blindly followed her professional opinions. Though everything that she says now makes perfect sense. He is learning so much at such a rapid rate that she spends most of the sessions simply playing with him. Giving him trials that he learns with minimal prompting and so she believes that he is ready for independent study to truly see where he stands.

Is my baby really ready to leave the nest?

I don’t know how comfortable I am doing it all on my own. If it came down to the heart of my misgivings it would end in: I don’t know how adequate I am going to be as his only source of knowledge. It frightens me immensely. I want Jp to be the best, which is why I took him to the best I could find in her field. I am a far cry from a Speech Language Pathologist. I pride myself in knowing a little bit of everything but here…I am well below the curve. I generally acquiesce to everything that she tells me to do simply because I have no idea what I am doing on my own. At all. I would have better footing in rocket science, genuinely.

How am I going to ensure that he is where he is supposed to be?

She has given me charts and workbooks and we are going to come in every six months to re-evaluate him. She told me I could call with any questions that I may have in the meantime. I have assistance. But a part of me still feels as though we are being kicked out the plane without a chute. My biggest fear is that I am not going to be enough. That he will have the potential to backslide or that his level of progression will slow and at 6 months he will have to reenter therapy and I will feel as though I have failed.

I just stopped viewing his delay as my fault and now I am facing another personal failure.

When I reread that, I know how selfish that it sounds. I know that I am making this about me again and I am looking at it all wrong. But that doesn’t stop me from being terrified. It doesn’t make me feel as at ease as I was when he was being seen by a licensed professional with a Master’s degree that came with nothing but the most glowing of recommendations. At my best I am still just a mom. No initials or accreditation after it. Just a mom who wants, more than she wants to breathe air, for her son to do well in this world and that all begins with the basics of understanding and comprehending language.

Am I really the best person for this job? If I could have done it alone, why did I outsource the help in the first place?

She keeps trying to ensure me that he is in a good place for this step. That he is showing the ability to hear and absorb with less repetition and, for two and a half, is working his way up slowly but surely. He appears to be holding onto more now with less rigidity and reluctance to use certain sounds or words. Right now the building blocks are all vocabulary based. The more words that he knows, the more he will understand when he is spoken to and she thinks that I am more than capable of helping him with that (she used the term, “language rich environment”, which I think means that she thinks I am naturally loquacious). At age three the forming of new sentence structures -or more accurately an inability to do so- will indicate more specific neurological impairments. It would take what is a current “Receptive Language Delay” and give it a name and an action plan if necessary. And I knew that. I knew we were waiting on age three, when the testing changes and becomes more specific to language structures, to fully evaluate him for neurological conditions that cause receptive language disorders. I just didn’t know that the six months before these big tests that I would be the one (alone) that he was working with.

Did I mention that I am petrified? ‘Cause right now, I feel like I am going to faint just typing that. Now if you will please excuse me, I have a TON of homework to do on how to become an SLP in one week because that is when that door closes for us.

And I have never been a fan of looking upon closed doors.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Childhood Development Parenting Parenting and Childhood Development

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Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

18 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Picture boards were the best with Kaleb. I went to walmart, bought self laminating 4×6 sheets, cardstock, ink, poster board, and some velcro squares. I then took pictures of all the things he frequently wanted/needed or was having a difficult time expressing – as well as pictures of our daily things (the car, the stores we shop at etc). I ended up with about 200 pictures. I printed them all out, laminated them, pressed the velcro to the back and stuck them on the poster board. I made two general picture boards, a schedule board, and a first/then board. So each day his schedule board would be something like this (in pictures) wake up, diaper, get dressed, eat breakfast, do x,y, z… etc. The first then board was for difficult things – like eating or bathing. First you eat (whip out picture of this food) and then you get (crayons, book, tv, whatever).
    The other board was just general things he would get frustrated when trying to request. I’d swap them out randomly to give him different choices. But to give him some control over his environment, I’d make sure there was three different breakfast foods listed – so when I asked what he wanted for breakfast he could just pull the picture down (usually this was trial by error until he figured out the difference between breakfast foods and other meals) and hand it to me. I’d say what it was – have him repeat the best he could – and then take the card to go make his breakfast.
    Sorry, I’ve just written yet another novel – but those boards were an absolute life saver. Mason – well, he just eats them. He speaks his own language and no laminated piece of cardstock is going to change that! But the sign language has helped immensely. Our library has Baby Signing Time (which I love – but I really want to just punch Rachael Coleman sometimes lol) and Baby Einstein DVDs that we have borrowed a lot – signing really helps him feel less frustrated, and the lowered frustration has helped his language.
    Okay, I’m so going to stop talking right now!

    • Thank you for writing so much…you always have the best advice! I LOVE the board idea! Jp has an extremely difficult time with “this comes first then this…” and cause and effect areas. So this sounds like an AMAZING plan for a visual learner like him. I love that it would give him a sense of control over his environment and hopefully, he will feel more independent and will respond better if he has a choice in the matter.

      This was the best idea ever. I am so excited to get started on it this week. Thank you soooooo much!

  2. Believe in yourself and what you both have learned. The strides he has made are reinforced because you have been there with him. Together the strides will continue. The therapist is only a phone call away. You can do it!

    • Thank you so much for the words of encouragement! My therapist keeps telling me, “I see him for a few hours a week, Amber, you and your husband are the ones that really do the work, you can do this.” but self doubt is a helluva drug, right? 😉

      It means so much to hear the pep talk, though, and thank you for taking the time to calm me.

  3. I completely understand, my little gal barely speaks, I had her in therapy twice a week, nd enrolled her in a school that specializes with learning disabilities twice a week. The week she was evaluated, she was pretty quiet, and they took away half her therapy! Because she made “some” progress, they had to cut some out!? Wasn’t she supposed to make progress? And, I’m sorry, but when she only spoke two words during her 30 minute evaluation, where does that leave us? I’ve started ABCmouse.com, loaded every iPad activity for education, and take her on every errand with me so she’s exposed to people and talk, and she will now chatter her brains out with me, and still barely speak to the therapists. Just have faith!

    • I saw the advertisement for ABCMouse yesterday! Has it been a great help? I really was considering it. We are already heavy into the Itunes educational apps and I have seen a ton of results from them. 🙂

      Thank you for the suggestion!

      • I have it on my iPad for the games, and the desktop for stories and songs. Both my kids love it, and it engages them with songs, and then the games help with fine motor skills. My youngest is 18 months old (adopted from foster care) and doesn’t speak words or engage in games, unless its this program or a few of the iPad games. The therapists have really commended their ability to sit and focus for 20 minute times.

  4. You are the perfect mother for JP. God knew exactly what kind of mother JP would need and He chose you!
    There are so many fun things you can do with your son right now. You can go to the zoo, the library, playgrounds, parks, play groups, etc and he’s almost old enough to begin sports. Those are fun places to practice language skills. Have fun with your kid. I miss the early days when I had just my one son and we used to go to the children’s museum, the park and chuck e cheese all the time! (yes even with his problem behavior I still took him out!)

    I have two friends each with a 3 year old and 4 year old who also have speech issues. They went through the school district and currently receive speech therapy and already have an IEP in place for when they do start kindergarten. We are in California, hopefully your state offers the same services. But really I hope you won’t need to use them!

    • Awwww, thank you for making me see things from the correct perspective! I always think that we are given only what we can handle and while I may be freaking out inside I know that the therapist is correct in the “language rich environment” part. I talk constantly. Ever since he was a baby (think crazy lady in the store asking her infant which formula he likes better ;)) I have always engaged him in everything. I have been preparing for doing it on my own for the better part of a year.

      I need to stop listening to the nagging inner voices and believe in myself.

      And kudos to you for not letting other people’s perception of your son’s behavior issues keep you from exposing him to new and fun things! You rock!

  5. Congrats! You have just been thrown head first into homeschool preschool. I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. Check out http://www.mrsriley.com. It’s an on-line PEC-making program (picture cards), and you can upload all your photos into their templates plus use their dictionary of thousands of images. It is soooooo easy. Actually it was Ben, the creator of mrsriley that got me started blogging.

    As far as “graduating” from speech therapy, if he is not meeting the language milestones, diagnosis or no diagnosis, I think you should stand your ground and fight for more therapy. If not at your current place, maybe elsewhere. Although I caution you that it seems to take about 5-6 weeks for a new therapist to catch up to where the last therapist left off.

    Let me know if I can help. I know what it’s like to not quite know what to do next. Big responsibility, but a bigger blessing to be in the trenches with our kids, unlocking the words of their heart!

    Blessings,
    Alyson

    • OMG that is great! A fellow blogger just told me about the picture boards and I was really excited to get started on them! Thanks for the shortcuts because it seemed like a tremendous undertaking! 🙂

      I am trying to fight with the therapist. I want him there, though. It took so long for him to warm up and get the drill that moving him scares me a little. She wants me to “try” it out and I sound like a crazy person refusing to at least try.

      It’s a huge responsibility but I think I am ready! Or at least, I hope so! 😉

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