I'm not sure that I have ever blogged about speech therapy before. Actually, I have not. To be honest, the topic frustrates me beyond measure and in recent months I have come to dread our speech therapy sessions. And I have to admit, I've never been an easy one to convince that speech therapy really works. I'm hoping that's just because I have not yet seen a speech therapist work their magic with a child and gain any significant progress from whatever technique or approach they chose to use. This goes for the ST's I've worked with in the public school setting as well as the one who works with my very own child. Shall I say, worked with my child.
I couldn't take it another speech session longer and keep my sanity all at the same time. Thank goodness for a wonderful Early Intervention Service Coordinator who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for us ever since we moved to VA and began the state's EI services. I called our SC yesterday and said in a nutshell...we need a change and this means a new speech therapist. NOW. It wrecked my day but it had to be done. I don't like making waves or hurting feelings but we are all adults in the picture dealing with a sweet soul who needs the best of any therapy around. Oia deserves nothing but that and in this case I felt she wasn't getting it.
A little background...Oia babbles constantly. All day long. She looks us square in the eyes and speaks Oia-nese but we have no idea what any of it means. It breaks my heart. She has a handful of words; yea, no, bye, hi, up, help, wake up, get up, what's this, go, mommy, and daddy are the consistent ones and a few others when prompted. She has been in ST since August. I knew very early into ST that the approaches taken were not aggressive or dynamic enough for Oia. Things seemed 'fluffy' and way too relaxed for my liking. Nothing was happening in the hour of ST that I wasn't already doing with Oia in our daily interactions together. However, I stuck with it for this long. Why? Because I am realistic and I am fully aware that progress in the CP world is very slow and progress certainly doesn't happen overnight. But, that's all the more reason to have a determined therapist who is willing to think outside the box to find a more direct approach that will really tap into what Oia needs. We have just 4 months left before Oia ages out of EI and I couldn't live with the regret of not seeking a change and wasting more precious days of what need to be full of engaging and meaningful therapy.
To be fair to any ST who has or will work with Oia, language is Oia's biggest challenge and for a very good reason. The placement of her cleft (hole) in her brain most interferes with her expressive language development. Our neurologist warned us of this. She communicates somewhere in the ballpark of a 15 month old and she is 32 months old. She is showing signs of frustration because of this gap between expressive language and receptive language. Her receptive language is age appropriate. She is a curious being full of thoughts, wonders, and questions with no way to express them all. I have become quite skilled at reading her mind but who would choose a mind reader over their own voice? Not Oia.
So waiting on a new placement...I may get to 'interview' a couple potentials before the final assignment is set. I remain hopeful. I know that with the right speech therapist coupled with all that Oia brings to the table already, she WILL talk.
And I can't wait...