Blogging through the Alphabet – S is for Speech Therapy

Josef is 3 years old.  He is a very active, kind, loving, sweet boy.  He also knows how to cause a little bit of a ruckus and get into things he shouldn’t.  (hence the marker on his nose)  He has also gone through a lot of adjustments the past 18 months.  Some of which we thought we had been handling fairly well, but others apparently not so much.

So 18 months ago, Cordelia was born.  Josef went from being the youngest child to a middle child. There was also the addition to the fact that he was the youngest boy now.  So he is the middle and youngest due to age and gender.  
It didn’t hit me that he might be coping differently than his brothers did with the addition of each child.  Not until he started acting out in places that he normally was fairly good.

One of the childcare workers mentioned a few concerns and suggested we get his hearing checked in case there was an issue.  She couldn’t tell if it was actual hearing or just a listening/obeying problem.  Either way she was slightly concerned.  He wasn’t paying attention in class (and often doesn’t at home…much to my chagrin).  You have to get down in his face and it’s hard to do that all the time.
So we schedule the testing and fortunately we can get the results back the same day.  He doesn’t have any hearing problems.  He passed all the tests with flying colors.  He just has a listening problem. And that is something completely different that I will be working on at home with him.

The second thing I decided to check out was his speech.  Josef used a pacifier till Cordelia was about 1.  He was getting to big and really not talking a lot and when he did it was hard to understand him.  He dropped consonants, end sounds, beginning sounds and I maybe understood about 60% of what he was trying communicating with us.
So I made an appointment to have Josef evaluated.  Darren and I sat in the observation room as Josef went through the testing.  It went really well.  He did start to get a little bit antsy toward the end.  But for a 3 (almost 4) year old to sit for nearly 1.5 hours and go through testing was really good.

The things that we already kind of suspected with his speech were confirmed.  He was diagnosed with a speech sound production disorder and expressive and receptive language disorder.

So now we know what is going on.  Josef’s speech therapist explained everything to us and has a good plan set out for us to follow.  The next step is a minimum of 3 months of speech therapy.  We go twice a month to the speech therapist (who is also the lady who performed the testing).  Therapy last about 30 minutes each visit.

As of now, we have been going to speech therapy for a week, but I can already see results.  These people care so much about their patients.  Josef has bonded with his therapist and really enjoys going.  I personally think he likes the new toys he sees there.  😉  She incorporates the therapy with playing, flashcards and more. 

We did get our first set of homework for him and will definitely be working that every day.  Josef is such a smart boy and I know we can work through this challenge that was discovered.

So, I write this to tell you that it’s ok to get help.  I think that I felt like I HAD to do it all and that if I didn’t I was a failure.  That’s not true.  Homeschooling (or even having a child in school) is a lot of hard work.  Realizing that he needed more than I could give was hard, but I am very grateful for the doctors and professionals that are available to us.  They want to see each patient succeed as much as the parents do.

I admit that I was first scared of taking him to the audiologist and speech therapist.  What if something was seriously (or even just minorly) wrong?  How would that impact our lives?  Depending on the change, I am either quick to adapt but those unexpected and even somewhat scary ones make me very resistant to change.  I like to have a plan of action.  The unexpected throws me for a loop! 

Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband and supportive family, friends and church family.  I don’t know what I would do without each and every person that God has brought into our lives.  Those who took time out of their day to watch our older kids so we could do the testing for Josef were such a blessing. Thank you all. 

I am also thankful to know that no matter what, God created Josef.  He created him to be unique.  He knew the challenges we would face with each child we have.  No matter what, God is always there and He is always in control. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.



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