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Speech Therapy Evaluation

I left the speech therapy evaluation today very discouraged. They want to see Nadia weekly for now, which doesn’t really surprise me. But I guess I did expect to have a better understanding of the process and goals after our appointment today, but I don’t.

The hour-long appointment was mostly spent as an interview, the therapist questioning me based on Nadia’s skills. I didn’t feel like I had a lot to say, other than, she squeals and cries, and that’s about it. We know she can hear based on her last hearing test before she was released from the NICU, but the therapist recommended another, which is fine, I’m totally not opposed to such, but I find it odd they want Iowa City to do the test… Again, fine, we are there all the time, but odd to me. Don’t they do hearing tests here??

The speech therapist seemed young, I’m not sure how much experience she has… She talked a lot to Nadia, to which Nadia basically just stared at her, or screamed and looked to me for comfort. And when I say talked to Nadia, I mean she made over-exaggerated sounds emphasizing the use of her mouth and lips, lots of motions with her hands, lots of expression, etc.

Our homework for the next week until we see her again:

  • Speak as much to Nadia as possible using lots of expression, lots of mouth movements, etc.
  • Mimic Nadia’s sounds back to her, giving her a chance to ‘take her turn’ to aid in the teaching of back and forth communication
  • Work to teach Nadia the signs for ‘more’ and ‘all done’
  • Repeat basic sounds, such as da, ma, and ba to Nadia over and over and over

I’m not at all opposed to teaching Nadia some simple sign language, as even Nora knows some basic baby signs, but I guess even the mention of such scared me. It made me wonder if the therapist fears Nadia will never speak… She did say that Nadia clearly has a voice, as she uses it to cry and such… I don’t know, just brought back a lot of fears for me, all the horrors of the brain bleed and lack of oxygen at birth. Is this all my fault? I’m so busy with Nora, Nadia doesn’t get nearly the attention Nora did at this age. Do I not work with Nadia enough? What am I doing wrong that Nadia needs speech and physical therapy, and Nora will probably start feeding therapy soon? I feel like everything is hitting me at once. I thought I was so lucky with my two preemies, that they were doing so well… I don’t want that to change. And all these appointments are wearing on me. The speech and physical therapy needs to be on different days, as they wear out Nadia and thus she doesn’t perform well at the second appointment of the day. And I can’t take Nora along, so once she starts feeding therapy that will be three appointments added to our list a week. I guess the bright side is I don’t work, otherwise I’d constantly be requesting time off.

6 thoughts on “Speech Therapy Evaluation

  1. I can only imagine how stressful this all is for you. It’s a lot to juggle and think/worry about, especially when it sounds likely that it will fall on you solely to take the girls to these appointments. My guess with the therapist wanting you to try some baby signs with Nadia is not that she thinks Nadia won’t be able to speak, but to give her a way to communicate since she can’t speak yet. And as I’m sure you experienced with Nora, don’t be surprised if it takes her quite a long time to start signing back. It took months of us showing June signs before she did any of them herself.
    Also, it’s really good you are seeking these resources for Nadia at such a young age. I’m not saying there is anything wrong…but if there were, I think a lot of times parents don’t realize there’s an issue (like with hearing, for example) until the child is older, which only makes it more challenging to overcome. I know it’s scary, but you are doing everything you can for your girls. Much love to you, mama!

    1. Thank you! I know things could be worse, I’m just feeling so overwhelmed with everything right now.

  2. All of that sounds like a normal speech appointment to me. Having worked with a number of speech therapist s they want to see if she can mimic new sounds. The second child always feels forgotten, I’m pretty sure I have forgotten a lot of Carly’s info. Having done a speech veal with Nolan, it’s more frustrating than PT. You can’t “see the results” as quickly and some of the requests seem “stupid”. You think we already do that. But with any verbal learning it takes for more training then physical skills. Hang in there!

    1. Thank you!! I’m not a very patient person so this is so very difficult for me.

  3. Signing is to give child power of communication; not indication she will not speak. Exaggerated facial expression is to increase child’s interest in looking at your face, mouth, (You might be sure to wear a bright lipstick too, if that fits your style.)
    The problems your children have are NOT your fault. Unless you used street drugs to induce early delivery, or excess booze, which happens ~but I doubt in your case. (Yes, this DOES happen. We have a HUGE population of foster infants in this country as a result.)
    Yes, you ARE exceptionally fortunate you are a SAHM. Makes it all much more doable with schedules and the attention you can pay to your girls.
    Keep on hanging in. The girls will get older and things will change.

    1. Thank you. Someday these will all be memories 🙂

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