Friday, 16 July 2010

When Mom is Proved Right

Yesterday I had the rare experience of sort-of sleeping in. Lately, Tommy has been waking up way too early. I have found that if I go in his room and lay down on his bed I can catch a few extra minutes of sleep while he plays (the child is a serious extrovert and needs companionship to do everything- but that's another post). For some odd reason Tommy decided that since I was "sleeping" he would give sleep another try, and it actually worked. Thus, I got some glorious unexpected sleep. But, that sleep was interrupted by an early phone call.

It was the type of phone call that you don't mind waking you up. It was our contact from early intervention calling to rave about Tommy's recent reevaluations, and to specifically mention that both therapists were extremely impressed with Tommy's progress and that we were clearly great parents! I always like to hear that early in the morning.

The background story: when Tommy first came home we did standard early evaluations. Tommy did well in every category except for speech, he had some slight delays, but nothing that warranted extra help. I felt that the speech therapist incorrectly assessed his delay, as she characterized him as the most delayed possible without providing services, and I didn't think (based on observing him with his peers) that his delay was that severe. I have my own theories as to why she did this, but they are irrelevant. The important thing is that she asked for us to do a reassessment in three months, because if he fell further behind he would qualify for services. Three months went by, and I did not make the appointment. Why? Because I knew without a doubt that he was not more delayed. Why should I waste two hundred dollars of state money (our state is a huge mess) to find out what I already knew?

But then, Tommy developed a slight speech impediment. I ignored it for a few months, but certain relatives began making comments, so I decided I would call in to our early intervention program and see if a therapist could tell me if it was normal or not. I called, explained the situation and that we were due for re-evaluation, but said that I didn't want to waste resources and only wanted an evaluation if Tommy's issue was not normal. Of course, they probably have to evaluate you once you call in for fear that you will sue them or something, so they set up an appointment right away.

In order to do any early assessments you have to get both an overall developmental assessment and the specific area assessment, so Tommy ended up having two "playdates" with therapists. Both of them went great. The developmental specialist said he had no delays and was completely on target for everything (and so cute and smart, which, we already knew). The speech therapist was even more impressed with Tommy. She said he was at or above age level for all speech skills (and he wasn't even on his A-game that morning), and that his lisp was normal- not all kids have one, but it isn't unusual for a child to develop one and grow out of it (which was all I wanted to know, but, apparently they couldn't just tell me that over the phone for free).

Then she made an off-hand comment about it being hard to believe that he had such a severe delay before and to recover so completely with no help- my point exactly! I take this as all the proof I need that my earlier suspicions were correct and that his speech delays were never as bad as stated. I'm not saying that Jeff and I aren't good parents, or that Tommy isn't smart enough to catch up, but to go from being so delayed to advanced in such a short period of time? Especially when we didn't make any special effort besides talking more than we might otherwise and reading to him a lot. No flash cards. No developmental games. Just living life.

I know it is a silly thing to be worked up over, but it really irritated me when the first speech therapist ignored everything I told her about Tommy's verbal skills, and left half of what I reported to her out of the report, as well as some of the things he did in front of her. When I read her final report it was as though she was writing about another child. I thought maybe I was just being one of those rose-colored glasses moms, but having this second evaluation confirms my initial suspicions that the "expert" was wrong. Happily, I can say that we are done with early intervention, at least until adoption number two is completed. Thank goodness!


Amber said...

There is definitely something to be said for mama's intuition! No question about it! At the end of the day though, I'm so glad Tommy's doing so well.

I have fallen in love with him through pictures, but seeing that video was the icing on the cake. I want to scoop him up and give him a big hug!!! Such a cutie!

Chelsea Lee said...

here are the hilarious things i noticed in this video:
1. i love that the TV you won is either still in the box or you haven't thrown the box away yet.
2. i love that the apple you gave your son to eat is bigger than his head.
3. i love that for entertainment yoiu guys are just sitting on the couch watching your son eat his giant apple.
and lastly
4. i love that i can tell its summer because jeff is wearing his family camp shorts.