Friday, February 8, 2008

Speech Therapy Update

I thought I would give an update on Gracie's speech therapy. We had another evaluation on Tuesday. Two women came to the house, one was a speech therapist and the other was some kind of family counselor. Gracie was so excited when they walked in the door and she just wanted to play with their toys.
I talked with the counselor while the speech therapist did her thing with Gracie, mostly just watching her play and trying to talk to her a little. I had to go through the whole Gus story again and try to justify why Gracie wasn't speaking as well as she should be. They said she should have about 50 words in her vocabulary and she only has 10. I'm sure there are more than that but she just can't pronounce them.
After about an hour of talking and trying to get Gracie to do things, this was the evaluation the speech therapist wrote down: "Gracie is demonstrating a 50% delay in receptive communication and a 25-50% delay in expressive communication. Gracie gestures and usues few words to communicate. She produces several sounds and imitates words. Gracie understands routive words and responds to her name."
I don't even know what any of that means. They gave me a paper with signs on them to teach Gracie. The only problem is she doesn't like to just sit with me while I try to teach them to her. She would respond better to movies, I'm sure, but I don't have access to them. They said they were going to reccommend speech therapy to the Intervention Program and we should have another speech therapist call and start coming weekly in about a month. Until then, I'm on my own.
They left me feeling pretty hopeless. That's probably the opposite of what they really wanted me to feel, but when someone comes to my house to tell me that my inadequite feelings are well-founded, it doesn't exactly leave me jumping for joy. I'm sure it will all work out and be fine. Gracie's not showing any other problems, mentally or physically, and I'm grateful for that.
Needless to say, the week didn't start out very great and hasn't been any better since then. A good friend of mine lost her baby this week and I recently found out that one of my cousin's also lost her baby this week. That kind of thing can set me back a few days. I've really tried to not let it affect me but I can't always help how I'm affected. Please include those families in your prayers, I know I will.


ls said...

You don't know me-- I found your blog through a random chain of friends-- but when I read this I wanted to give you a little encouragement. Before I had my baby I was a special education teacher to 5 year olds, and the main need of many of my students was help with their communication, both receptive (what they can understand) and expressive (what they can say). They were the smartest little kiddos, and I could tell that they knew SO much more than they were capable of expressing.

Could you see if your library has "Signing Time with Alex and Leah" videos? Even my most delayed students showed progress with the videos, and from what I can tell Gracie is a super smart little thing and I am SURE she would catch on quickly. I have two of the DVDs myself and if you really were in need I would be more than happy to mail them to you to use.

Also, don't underestimate the power of just speaking and reading to her lots. Use TONS of repetition and encourage babbling and vocalizations of any kind.

Please try not to feel too discouraged about this. SO many little kids show some sort of communication delays and most of them catch up to their peers with just a little extra work and attention. And it is so fantastic that you are starting so young with Gracie. She is lucky to have such attentive parents.

You are more than welcome to email me if you have any questions or anything.

Tina McKinnon said...

All I can say is that this is not a reason for feelings of inadequacy... It isn't anything you didn't do, or do well. Gracie is such a hoot, and smart as they come... kids just do things, progress, on different time tables! She is still so young that I can't help but think she will be up to the educators' idea of where she should be in no time at all.... Working with her, whether she needs it or not, is great... for her... for you... for the whole family! It's just spending good quality time together... Just have fun and she'll pick stuff up without either of you even thinking about it. Sure love you guys! Thanks for being you!

Glamma Fabulous aka Kelley Smith said...


Karen said...

Let me repeat. Delay of speech is VERY common in my little family. The little people that have needed it have gotten their help from their speech therapy and now they speak wonderfully. It aint' no thing. BUT if you have to blame someone, you can blame Robby's genes. We found his only fault!

Jenna said...

Don't worry, sis. You've got lots of help around you. And I say ditto to everything else everyone has said, Gracie is a smart kid and will catch on quickly! It has nothing to do with you. What she's learned so far has worked out great for her, she's a happy girl!

The McKinnon 4 said...

Hey I just wanted to tell you that I know a lot of kids that have been delayed in speech. The way I look at it is, they will get it when they are ready. Kadence is in therepy for her cerebral palsy. She does Physical therapy and occupational therapy. We had to go through all the evaluations and stuff too and I remember feeling the same way, overwhelmed. It seemed like they were talking in a diffent language. I didnt know all the terms and stuff. Eventually it all starts making sense. We used to have therapist come to our home for it until she was three and got kicked out of the system. Now we take her to a place on Alma School and Southern that is AWESOME! Honestly, they are way better than what we had. They are very helpful and the therapists are great! If you are interested in it I can get you some more info but I do know they do Speech Therapy there too. By the way, Gracie is TOO CUTE!

Becky said...

Sorry to hear you are overwhelmed. It's hard enough being a mom! Ask those therapists tons of questions and make them explain everything--it's their job. Take comfort in what everyone is telling you and believe it! You are doing great! Motherhood is hard!
I love Gracie's curly curly hair.

KatieJ said...

I just wanted to tell you not to feel bad- none of it is your fault so don't blame yourself, or feel hopeless and inadequate! She will catch up and be just fine I'm sure! I'm so sorry to hear about your cousin and Mrs. Dub.

KatieJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hillary said...

Just want you to know I echo the comments above - you are a GREAT mom and Gracie is a GREAT, bright, and darling kid. Also, know that we're including you and those you mentioned in our prayers. I'm sure it affects you deeply when others experience things that come so close to what you've experienced. I'm so sorry you have to have those feelings come back, but I know how grateful others are to have your encouragement when only you can relate to what they're feeling. What a blessing for them to have you reach out to them. This is more evidence to me of what a strong person you are - to be able to reach out to so many others in so many different circumstances (including me) while you're experiencing something so difficult. Thank you, sis. Lots of love.

Heather said...

As has been mentioned, make yourself heard when the therapists come over. Don't be afraid to ask questions. My experience is that when you don't ask questions, it is assumed that you already know and understand. If you ask questions after questions, you will get more of the information that you need. I think that lots of people are afraid of asking questions for fear of looking silly, but the truth is that most people that have information LIKE sharing it and will give you more than you ask for, if you start asking questions. And who cares if they don't like giving you info? Make them give it to you.
And that's my two cents. :)

Julie said...

Funny I read your first comment and I to found your blg through a wrong click from a friends blog. we use Signing Time an love it. (it think) it is on Chanel 8 sunday mornings. It allowed us to talk with and understand our sweet little girl, I really had to learn the signs and use them everyday. My hubby and I would watch (the DVDS) over and over to learn them to do with her, it was an amazing outlet for us knowing what she wanted to eat when she was all done. By age two see knows at least 100 signs, she also can do almost half of the ABC's our Neurologisit said it is a great workout for her brain and is a second language which uses a new part of the brain. It has been great for me I have made new friends that also use ASL. Really amazing our local Libary also has the DVDs and we had family gave us them too. Good Luck, your little one is so cute!