December 13, 2012

a daily battle: communication


Yesterday was one of those days. The boys just got into everything. Like - climbed to reach dangerous things, poured an entire bottle of toilet cleaner all over the floor and played in it, whined and cried in the post office line for 10 minutes while we were being shhh-ed loudly - kind of days. They were just being 2 year olds. And hubby is out of town so I have no breaks. Some days are just rough.

While the boys are making a lot small advances (that are big in our world) in speech therapy class, it's still quite frustrating having two almost 3 year olds who have a lot of troubles vocalizing their needs. I requested (through the boys' therapy school) to see if we could get them some individual speech therapy in addition to their group therapy. As I've explained before, therapy class ends when they turn 3, then all future therapy (if we're getting it through the state like we are now) will transition to the school district. That gives us just over 2 more months. 

Don't get me wrong, they are making progress but when they were tested in September, they were communicating verbally at less than a 1 year old level. My almost 3 year olds still do not put two words together to communicate and they're supposed to start preschool in less than 3 months. 

I got a call from our care coordinator today telling me we'll have to get a referral from our pediatrician to get an assessment for speech therapy through our insurance. It'll be more than a month before we have the boys ready to begin individual therapy. And then starts preschool. Of course we'll continue with whatever individual therapy we have at that point. This entire process is exhausting.

The coordinator also told me she got an assessment from the boys' teachers to validate the referral for individual therapy. It was so hard to hear her listing off all of the things they couldn't do. They don't initiate interaction with peers or adults. They don't do much mimicking of adults. They don't follow simple one step directions. Because they don't communicate much, they have troubles interacting with others. 

You guys. This has been weighing so heavy on my heart. It's hard not to take responsibility for their delays. I've been beating myself up over this for months. I feel like I let them down. I didn't give them all the tools they needed. Sure you can say it's not my fault but really, how else did this happen? I feel like I've failed on so many fronts. I think it's natural as a mother to take on your child's problems as something that you directly caused. I have good days and bad days. 

No matter what, I'm not going to let my personal battles with this get in the way of continuing to move forward in getting the boys the help they need. I stopped by our local Gymboree and we're going to try out some classes there. I looked up story time at the local library and I'll be taking the boys there once a week. My new goal is getting them in group settings with other kids as much as I can. 

I know a lot of their insecurities with talking to others (peers and adults) will start to fade away as they learn to verbally express themselves better. It's hard to gauge their abilities because at home, where they're most comfortable, they talk the most, they participate the most, they understand and follow just about everything I tell them. However at school, it's not happening. I know we'll get there. I know in a couple of years we'll look back and this struggle will seem like just a distant memory. But right now, in the thick of this battle, I'm learning it's going to be a very long and emotional journey for all of us. 

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