Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Apparently Babbling Doesn't Equal Talking

A woman named Maureen came over this morning to evaluate Gracie on her developmental skills and speech to determine whether or not speech therapy would be a good idea for her.
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First, I went through a series of questions on my parenting. That included discussions about my depression, losing Gus, and how Gracie handled it all. I wouldn't call that interesting or fun by any means. I reflected back for the first time on what was going on with Gracie during all that and I honestly can't remember. August and September are almost a complete blur.
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Then, Maureen did some skill tests with Gracie like matching shapes, stacking blocks, organizing spoons and crayons, and mimicking her actions. Gracie did pretty good but like any 2 year old, a tantrum or two was thrown. Overall, I thought it went well.
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When Gracie was done cooperating, Maureen politely informed me that Gracie needed speech therapy and that her social skills were below what they should be. A speech therapist will call me in the next few days and come do another evaluation. Then, we'll be put on a waiting list and should start in the next 6-8 weeks.
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I'm not sure what to think of the whole thing. To start, I haven't been feeling good the past week or so and neither has Gracie so the negative feelings seem to be seeping to the surface quicker than the positive. I'm trying to steer away from those because, after all, Gracie is still alive. That was the first thought I had when the discouragement started to wash over me. I thank Heavenly Father every day for letting me keep her. This is nothing compared to the problems I could have.
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So that is what lies in our future. Speech therapists, teacher monitored playgroups (don't worry, Steph, they meet Tuesday through Thursday), therapy homework, and lots of tantrums. Not to mention changing Gracie's feeding station to the adult table and adding a tarp to our apartment decor.
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Progress reports will be posted accordingly, along with cute pictures.

18 comments:

Stacie said...

you can do it! i think at first it will be difficult, but after you see her progress it might be really rewarding. good luck, can't wait to hear how it all goes.

AmyK said...

All kids develop at different levels. What 2 year old has social skills? What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine case closed!

Robin said...

I am sure it is discouraging to hear what the "experts" are saying. But I am sure that no permanent damage is done and that she will progress just fine. You are a great mom and it might be nice to have someone helping you endure the tantrums.

Kelsey said...

What an adorable picture! She looks so sweet. Good luck with the therapy and continue to focus on the good things in life. I really enjoyed talking to you last night. Give Gracie a hug for me!

Becky said...

Being open to the therapy and getting her help is the biggest step, I think. A friend of mine has both her boys in speech therapy, and it has helped them a ton. Good luck!!
Becky

Stephanie said...

i'm sure it will be great! gracie is adorable and will totally love the extra playgroups. good luck!

Karen said...

Oh Melanie - let me just tell you that Speech Therapy happens to be pretty common amongst our family. I won't name any names, but she's in good company. This is really nothing to worry about, just be excited for the great help you are about to receive! And how adorable is she in those super retro headphones!

Jim & Jami said...

Well this is a cute picture all on it's own.....Don't worry about your parenting skills, you are a fab mom, just from the way you write about Gracie, your love flows through your words, Gracie will come out of this with flying colors.....Speech Therapy is very common. Love you sister-friend...J-

Jenna said...

Mel, I agree with what most everyone else has said - only good can come from this. You will see her improvement and be so grateful! Every child learns differently, and you and Gracie have been through a LOT together over the past year. You'll make it through this just fine, I'm sure of it.

Martha said...

hey Mel -- I have been there and done that and still there. Both of my two older kids have speech problems and we are still dealing with them. I started Lizzie out at 3 and Cayden at 2.5.. All kids are different.. Cayden grew out of his pretty quickly and we are still working on Lizzie. You can do it.. It is hard sometimes to listen to the teachers, because I still don't like to listen to them. I went through the Mesa Public Schools to help them..

Gracie is so very cute.. and I think she will do great. You will be surprised..

Emily said...

Great picture! My brother and I both had to have some speech therapy in elementary school, I'm glad you're doing it earlier for Gracie, it will make things easier for her in the future. Bravo for being on top of things!

Natalie said...

That is a cute picture! I think speech therapy for 2ish-year-olds is more common than you think. Now that I have a kid I'm starting to hear about it more and more among friends and family (you can talk to my sis, Jennie about it). It's great you're nipping it in the bud though! It will make a huge difference.

Lyndsay said...

Someone in my extended family asked the other day if Finn is walking, and I said no. She said "What's WRONG with him?1" (WHAT?? Dude, please.) I said "Finn's moving at his own pace." And Gracie's moving at her own pace! I know many kids her age that aren't truly talking yet. I bet she will love her new play groups. Gracie is a doll, and you are a wonderful Mom!

KatieJ said...

Sounds like you will be busy but I bet Gracie will love all the extra structure and attention! She is so cute- I can't get over those curls!

sadie said...

Hey Mel, I just wanted to say that Libby was in speech therapy from year 2 to 3. I was anxious and unhappy at first, but she learned to LOVE "school" and was sad when she developed enough that she didn't need to go anymore. It was a great experience for us. Email me if you have any questions I can answer!!

Sarah-Olivia said...

Mel,
I don't know if you have heard anything about my son Landon. He has to go through speech therapy as well. He also has the play group 2 times a week, occupational therapy and he meets with a private teacher 2 times a week. All in all it really is nice. Landon's tantrums have calmed down SO much! He can comunicate better and I get less frusterated with him. He has PDD (pervasive developemental disorder) but they say that after all this therapy he should be up to speed in about a year or so. It is stressful at times but definately worth it. I wonder if Gracie and Landon would understand eachothers babbles. lol. I doubt ANYONE could understand Landon.

Anonymous said...

Good moms agree to the therapy their kids need. :) I don't know how old she is, but the earlier the speech therapy starts the better the results. I taught a girl in 5th grade one year whose mom kept saying she would grow out of it. By the 5th grade the kid would hardly talk because she was so self-conscious. EVERYONE I know who has followed through with the speech therapy has been happy with the results they see in a short time.

wendysue said...

I'm late popping in on this post, but just wanted to share. . .we had our 2 year old tested just after her birthday. . .she had little to no speech, and no real babbling, etc.
I figure, do the testing, and take the services they offer, it couldn't hurt and most surely will help. I went through the whole gammet of emotions, some days convinced there was something really wrong. I think you'll be surprised by her progress in the next year, and after all, she's only two. . .if there is something going on, certainly it's caught early and she'll be right on her way!