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.