Thursday, December 17, 2009

Our first meet and greet with the Speech Therapist...

...and the social worker and the state employee coordinator and the behavioral therapist who recommended a meeting with an occupational therapist. Whoa! What is going on? For the first time in a while, I feel really overwhelmed.

Let's go back to the beginning. Over the past few months, Emily has developed the terrifying habit of slamming her head into the floor and walls when she doesn't get what she wants. Sometimes she only hits herself enough to make a bang noise, sometimes she leaves red marks. Needless to say, this habit is very upsetting for me to watch. This, combined with her unwillingness or inability to speak at an appropriate level for her age compelled Emily's doctor to recommend intervention services. These are provided by the State of Illinois.

In order to determine what kind of services Emily would benefit from, they sent all of the aforementioned people here to interview me and observe Emily. They were all very nice, very professional, and very helpful. Although, I must admit, it was really embarrassing for me to let her have her tantrums in front of an audience of strangers. When the series of interviews had finished on Tuesday, they made preliminary reports, and came back on Wednesday to tell me their results.

I was pretty surprised at what they'd determined. Emily's "quirks" are a little more complicated than that. I am trying to take a pragmatic approach; there is a problem and so let's fix it. But that is so hard when its your BABY. My baby, that is. The good news is that her motor skills are spot on; she can climb and jump with the best of them. Her cognitive skills are only slightly behind. She can sort colors and count to five, which makes me so proud! They determined that she should be pretend playing now, and she's not, so that is one thing that needs to be worked on. The biggest problem though, was her speech. Emily is only communicating at the level of a 14 to 19 month old. That is over a 50 percent delay. I was really sad to find this out. We need to start right away.

Team Therapy agreed, and so in January Emily will begin a very busy, but hopefully very helpful, routine. She is going to have speech therapy at a clinic just east of here. In addition, she'll have weekly group therapy with a bunch of kids her age to help her work on her social skills and also become more imaginative. We also begin the process of getting her into preschool at our school district. Since Emily is going to go to the local elementary school for that, it is very likely that we will pull Nora from the Montessori so they are at school together. (Not the last I will say on this; I hate to take Nora away from that environment. But we only have one vehicle).

So that's where we are at the moment. Very hopeful to get Emily on track, feeling guilty like I'm admitting I'm a parenting failure, but doing it all out of love. If it works wonderful! If it doesn't, its not like we will stop loving her. Because in my eyes she is perfect.


  1. She *is* perfect and you are an *awesome* mom. So what if she is a little behind in her speech? She is still a brilliant kid! I heard a quote recently that fits quite well here:

    Not being able to speak…is not the same as not having anything to say.

    You are working to get to the tools she needs to be able to express herself in a way that will be easier for everyone involved- go Mommy! And she will get their in her own time and in her own way- Go Emily!

    And besides, how do they know what she's imagining? as Shane would say, it's called imagination cause its in your own head, not everybody else's DUUUH!

    Keep me updated, hope to talk to you soon!

  2. Shane is the smartest kid I know! Love you all, thanks for the positive input.