All my life, I always wanted to be a mother. All of my married life, I tried and tried and tried, but failed and failed and failed. Realizing now that it was simply because God wasn't ready (as I think I talked about in a previous blog). But, He blessed Todd and me with a normal pregnancy (even though I was a horrible pregnant woman -- thanks everybody for putting up with me!). Most mothers imagine giving birth to an absolutely perfect child, and most do. Well, in my eyes, as I am sure in every other mother's eyes, my child is perfect! Yes, he is a little on the rambunctious side, a little temperamental, and a little s-p-o-i-l-e-d, but he is 2!
What I am trying to get at is the fact that he is speech delayed. I feel like an alcoholic or druggie that is in the first stages of their healing process -- DENIAL! When I finally accepted the fact, I instantly felt like a total failure! I felt as if I had been a horrible mother and failed Stephen. All the while wondering how could this be...he was supposed to be the smartest, most beautiful thing in the world. He seems SO incredibly intelligent, but no words were being spoken in that sweet voice of his other than the usual "momma," "mommaw," and an occasional "dada," "duck," and some other small things. What was I doing wrong? Maybe it was easier to put the blame on myself than to actually think something could actually be "wrong" with him!
During his 2 year checkup, the physician's assistant suggested that we contact WV Birth to Three, which is an organization that works with children and families with delays to help them transition into the school system. Early intervention. I immediately contacted them, but was still very sick to my stomach about the whole thing.
That has been about three months ago. We had our initial meetings to evaluate Stephen's situation. His developmental milestone all passed the bar, but his speech failed. Although he had an expressive vocabulary of about 20 words, he was sufficiently lacking. So, we chose our team of therapists which we thought would fit us and Stephen best, and scheduled some appointments. We decided to stick with a developmental specialist even though Stephen didn't really need developmental therapy, because Stephen loved her, and she is very fluent in sign language. She is working with him with sign to help him express himself until he can actually "tell" us what he wants or needs. We are a little disappointed with the speech therapist right now because she has only worked with him ONE time through all of this! I have found already that if there is no consistency, this is not going to work. And now, we have added an occupational therapist because they have discovered that Stephen has oral sensory issues, which could be causing this entire problem. This lady is great! She is very intelligent and has already been to see him and work with him.
Something remarkable happened over the weekend. Stephen gave me something I longed for for a very long time, he actually nodded his head yes when I asked him a question, and then followed suit with what he agreed to do. When I realized what had happened, I wanted to cry! Of course tears of joy! Wow! We actually communicated for the very first time! (Other than him asking for a "gunk" which we know as "drink"). Praise God!
I have noticed a huge improvement over the past month with both his expressive language and his cognitive vocabulary. This leads me to yet another question...is this program working that fast (even though there has been no real consistency), or, as a "mother," were my expectations for Stephen too high too early?? I mean come on, like I said, he is only 2! I have almost convinced myself that I put too much pressure on myself! I mean, I know he does have some sensory issues because he still drools excessively, but we will work through that. He will talk when he is ready, it is definitely not something you can MAKE anyone do!
But hey, he is making PROGRESS!!!!! :)
Another thing I have noticed, which I spoke about in church this past weekend, was the fact that I have never taken this problem to God. I struggle trying to figure out just why that is, but I cannot come up with anything. Am I afraid of praying for myself, or my family? Do I feel selfish because there are so many other things I pray about that really need prayer, or do I think that we can handle things? Because if that is the case, boy have I got a problem! Stephen does need prayer for this! I NEED PRAYER FOR THIS! Because it is difficult on both of us not being able to communicate! Both of our frustration levels get to the max sometimes! So, I am asking you, my friends and family, please pray for us! I vowed in church that I was starting to pray for the situation, but I also ask you all to accompany me in prayer.
Thank you for your love and prayer!