My youngest daughter, Lexi, is in speech therapy. It’s not the traditional one on one therapy, but rather a group setting. Each week Lexi and two other kids play games, read stories, do crafts and sing songs all focused on a certain sound. She loves going, and I do too. We know we won’t see results overnight, but hopefully by the time she goes to kindergarten in just over a year she will be much easier to understand.
We first noticed that there was a problem when Lexi was quite young. She didn’t seem to have as many words as other kids, but we figured she was on the tail end of normal. As she got older she was harder and harder to understand, even I had problems. And she was getting very frustrated with her inability to communicate all the time. Just before her 3rd birthday we took her for a speech assessment. Donnie went along with it just to placate me, he didn’t really think anything was wrong, but I was insistent. A few other people were quite vocal about how I was wasting my time, she was fine (I could go on about said person, but I am working very hard at letting go of some resentment, so I won’t). After the assessment she was diagnosed with a moderate speech sound disorder. It’s not that I was happy, but it was nice to find out that I wasn’t crazy or overreacting.
So then the waiting began. It was almost 6 months before we got a hearing test done, which went less than stellar (you can read all about it in my post Exercise in futility and frustration. Also known as hearing test: part 1). We waited about 5 months until a spot open in speech therapy. But seeing as all these services are at no cost to us, the wait time is a trade off I’m willing to make.
And now we are waiting again. When I called out speech pathologist yesterday to let her know Lexi would be absent due to the flu I was told that we are being looked at for possible assistance for Lexi’s delay through the school board. Basically they are seeing if she qualifies for funding under the mild to moderate disabilities/delays heading. If the powers that be feel she qualifies for this funding then she will go for more in depth evaluations and the help we receive will come from the public school board rather than the speech clinic or the hospital (which is run/funded by the health board). That is, unless after the evaluation they feel she will still be better served by the programs through the clinic and the hospital. Did you follow that? Because it made my head hurt a little.
Then I did the stupid and Googled “Early Childhood Services Alberta”, who is considering if she qualifies for funding. There were a lot of nearly overwhelming terms like ‘special education classrooms’, ‘early intervention programs’, ‘IPP’s’ and the like. Granted most of what was written was dealing with children with severe disabilities/delays, but still. And here’s the thing. Until that moment it hadn’t really occurred to me that Lexi was delayed. Even with the diagnosis of moderate speech sound disorder, or moderate phonological disorder, even with the weekly speech therapy, it just didn’t click. She was just my Lexi doodle, not a kid with a speech disorder.
But I am glad she is getting the help she needs, whether that help comes from the speech clinic, the hospital or the school board. As long as someone is helping her, that is all that matters. Even if it all does make my head spin a little bit.