So how has she changed in three years?
- Her speech development continues to grow at a rate and pace that is suited for her.
- She is progressing forward, just slower than a typical developing child.
- Last year she had a speech assessment which placed her at a 3 year old level of speech. We have another assessment booked for June.
- She chatters all day long and her pretend play is blossoming nicely. After spending a consistent amount of time with my friend (who does my respite) and her little girl, Sarah is learning how to play and interact with others as well. These times are allowing Sarah to listen, learn new things and share her own ideas and opinions. It's been a great opportunity for her to be with someone her age while still in the comfort of a home, which I appreciate.
How have I changed in three years?
- Although I have had many discouraging days, for the most part, I am accepting of her delays. I have times of frustration and fear but pushing those negative thoughts away is easier.
- My faith in God has grown by leaps and bounds. I had so many days and nights of doubts and tears which have brought me to my knees in submission to Christ. He has shown me through his Word and the wisdom of friends that she was created just the way He wanted her to be.
- I have learned how to become a stronger advocate for Sarah. I have fought for respite hours. I have pushed for answers. I have learned to be strong and keep looking for support.
- I no longer feel dreadful all the time. I know that Sarah will keep growing at her own rate and that will mean the gap between her and her peers will get bigger. I am still learning to be okay with and accept it as our "normal" and although some days are tougher than others, I'm doing better than I ever have been.
What now? What's next?
- Currently, Sarah is registered for "grade one" this fall. I'll use that term loosely because it's only by law that she's enrolled and clearly she is not going to be doing what "typical" grade ones will be.
- When I think that she's about 3.5-4 years old developmentally, we may start on some early preschool stuff but that's not a huge concern of mine. She is learning what she needs to at this time and I'm satisfied with that.
- I will continue to keep her at home. I do not believe that putting her in a room with 20-25 other developmentally average kids will benefit her at this time (even with a full time aid which would be necessary). Also, I've homeschooled all of my other kids successfully, why would Sarah be any different?
- I'm hoping that once the school year begins this fall, we will find supports and access to other help as we see is needed. It's been sort of a lonely year since we had to stop our early intervention and the support came to a close. We've sort of just let things be for the year with Sarah's only focus is on play.
I can remember this visit as the beginning of a new stage of life for us. Little did we know what we were in for after that. The date of the initial developmental diagnosis is a bit later in May... I'll blog about it then.