Our case worker, Wendy came over this morning to give us a more detailed report on Sarah's developmental screening. It is nice to have it all in writing which is much better for my slightly muddled brain. I like to *see* things on paper and be able to visualize it. So here's the low down:
- Fine Motor (possible delay with skill level of 27-29 months)
- Language: Both Receptive & Expressive (probable delay with skill level 27-28 months)
- Gross Motor (probable delay with skill level 25 months)
- Auditory Attention & Memory (probable delay with skill level of 24 months)
- Visual Attention & Memory (probable delay with skill level of 18 months)
- Self Help (average with skill level of 31-32 months)
- Social (average with skill level of 39-40 months)
So what does this all mean? It essentially means that Sarah has delays in most areas of development except for the last two. We will register her for the Early Intervention Program at the local Health Unit. This will include a "Play & Say" group which is a small group (2-4 kids) who will essentially play with the parents and two speech pathologists. The pathologists will teach the parents how to *teach* the kids through play. To take something as simple as playing but turn it into a learning opportunity.
Wendy will also come to our house in a couple weeks and give me some tips and strategies on how to encourage the Auditory and Visual Memory since those are the two that are most confusing to me.
Because I homeschool the kids, we declined further, more invasive testing and will not enroll her in a preschool. I don't need Sarah to match up to other kindergarteners in 2 years... I can (and will) simply create a curriculum special to her needs when that time comes. For now, I am looking at specific tools and ideas on how to encourage further development through her toys, surroundings and the people who are around her the most. Wendy said I was actually one of the very few parents who are as eager to help their child. Many parents want the system to fix their child and they simply can't do that. Sarah doesn't need fixing... she's not broken. She needs help and support filled with loving parents, siblings, family and friends.
That is the nuts and bolts of it all... the mechanical side of things. And now for my heart....
I am coping. It is really hard to hear that in so many areas, she is much younger than her actual age. In many areas, I see her at the same level as my niece who was 2 in March. As Sarah approaches 3 years old, she now has the mannerisms of a two year old. Starting to assert her opinion, saying "no"... that kind of thing. She was the easiest two year old in the world. Compliant, easy going, cheerful and pleasant. No "terrible twos" for us. Now that the evaluations are done, we move on to the next step of working with her.
Nothing really will change other than how we talk to her when we play. To take the play to a level where she is learning new words, encouraged to talk and grow in different areas.
I'm still feeling angry and raw at times. I simply don't want to be doing this. It's kind of like a grieving process and given time, I will be ready to handle what's been placed in in my lap.
I don't even know how to pray about this. It's not something that can or will get better overnight or with a dose of medicine. She won't be *healed*. So how am I supposed to talk to Him about this? I feel alone. Isolated. In a world on my own. It makes me sad today.