Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Speech Therapy Update


These are what I hear each week in speech therapy. These little sounds with different consonants at the front being exchanged between Maleiah and her lovely therapist, Ms. Sarah. Also these sounds are usually in exchange for a cool toy or being able to swing on the cool contraption that hangs from the ceiling in the OT room.

To be honest (and naive) I thought this whole speech therapy thing would be an in and out process. I think Ms. Sarah will be a part of our lives for awhile. We have learned some great new signs and new words are coming, but not completely and sometimes the words are not really words at all, just sounds. Jabbering continues, a lot. It's cute, but not words. Not communicating.

So Ms. Sarah has some concerns about a sensory issue and Maleiah's attention span. I do too. I am the one chasing her everyday, wiping glue from her mouth, blue glue that she thinks would be great as a lip gloss. I also believe that since she is 2, attention spans are short. Hers may be shorter than some. After the sensory issue comment I cried the whole way home and then raced to the internet which is always a wealth of too much information and just enough to freak a person out.

Earlier in the year we noticed that Maleiah was not your normal snuggly 1 year old. In fact, she wasn't snuggling at all. She didn't want to sit in our lap, be rocked to sleep, or really sit still at all. She pretty much pulled away at any form of hugging or closeness. I talked to a friend and she and I were thinking that it may be connected to her prematurity and her short time in the NICU. Anyway, we borrowed a rocking chair and started sitting with her for short periods of time. We also changed our perspectives of the issues at hand. Instead of being frustrated or hurt by her distance we began to see that for the first 5 days of her life it was spent in a busy NICU with less touching and nurturing than a normal baby. Somewhere in her little brain connections needed to be made. Guilt ensued and the rocking continued. We have prayed for her and rocked some more. It worked! I rock with her twice a day, nap time and bed time. She loves it and even asks for it. We sit together and we read books, which she actually sits through and we pray before bed time. We feel a closer connection to her and the distance is gone. These are normal things any parent and child should feel and for some reason we have had to work harder for it.

All this to say that if there is a problem I fully intend to work through it and pray through it and I may have to change my perspectives a few times. So please pray for her vocal chords to do what they need to do, for her brain to connect to wherever it needs to to get those words and sounds to come together. Pray for Justin and I to have patience and grace for Maleiah and for each other.

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