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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A long awaited phone call (LONG post)

This is what happens when Daddy dresses me!
Upon not hearing a sound coming from her room, I went to go check on her and saw this:
(The pictures don't go with the post, I just thought they were cute!)

The phone call that I have been waiting for finally arrived...no not "The Call" phone call, but the call from the Chinese Noodle's new speech therapist. She had been evaluated back in December and qualified (no surprise there) for speech services but I had been told not to expect a phone call until mid-January due to Christmas. Fine, I understand how the special ed machine works, especially during the holidays. When mid-January rolled around and we still hadn't heard anything, I started getting on the phone, making calls. Long story short, the doctor had faxed over the script for speech therapy and it had gotten "lost" in the fax pile-up. They re-faxed it over in early February but it took me talking to the speech supervisor last week to figure out what had happened. She told me she would hand delivered the script to the speech therapist and to expect a phone call early this week. Thankfully it came today while the C.N. was napping!!

We'll start the first week in March (I of course wanted to start tomorrow, but her schedule was already pretty full) and then go from there. We also have an appointment with the Cleft team in the middle of March and hope to do the surgery soon-there-after.

Many have asked "Is she speaking yet?" to which I always sigh and answer to the best of my ability. You see, I have a tendency to focus on how she is communicating rather than just whether or not she is speaking...is she able to follow 1 and 2 step directions? yes...does she demonstrate comprehension of vocabulary when we read books by her pointing to various things when asked? yes...is she able to express her wants and needs? yes through a total communication approach i.e. facial expressions, gestures, signs, word approximations and words...is she able to comment to us on what she sees and experiences? yes (see above)...does she consistently use the same words to stand for the same things? yes, however they often are more "unconventional". In a nutshell, the C.N. is doing a great job with her communication, especially considering how long she's been hearing English (hmmm...I wonder how much Chinese I would be speaking if the tables were turned?). Like I said before, she uses signs and word approximations to let us know what is on her little mind. The million dollar question, however, is "Is she speaking?". So...to answer that question, I guess I would have to say no, because fluent English isn't pouring out of her little mouth.

Unfortunately for her, she's got a very intense Mama who pretty much worked on communication 24/7 in her old life as a teacher for children with Autism. I basically use the same strategies with her (i.e. making her request again and again and again and again for a snack--1 measly Cheerio at a time to get in as many opportunities as possible, force her to use her signs and then her signs with her word approximations when she wants something ESPECIALLY when it is a highly desired item (even when a tantrum is brewing), etc.). I've even been known to run her through some discreet trials (don't even ask!). So even though I do focus on her communication, I still have these intense, high expectations for her. What a blessing it is to have J to gently remind me that she has only been with us for 5 months and to remember how far she has come and what she has overcome. It brings tears to my eyes because he is sooo right and I'm only too ready to sweep all of that under the carpet, just because she hasn't put "2-3 words together". I really need to cut her some slack and myself as well and above all RELAX. Afterall, God's in control and He's got a far better plan on how He's going to get the C.N. to speak than I do.


Kimberly said...

It is just amazing to see-- and read on all our blogs-- just how far our kids have come and adjusted to a completely new life in just 5 short months. Glad to hear that things are finally moving for speech therapy for the C.N. It's like the whole adoption process-- everything is "hurry up and wait!" It sounds like the CN's communication is coming along great if she can indicate so much and understand so much.

Nicole said...

I am so with you on this one. I know just how you feel, wanting things to move faster, knowing that they have come so far, yet it's hard to not look at where you need to go!!!
Giving it all to God is sometimes easier said than done, but you are right, it's something we need to do!

Mary B. said...

It is so wonderful to see how amazingly perfect your family fits together! The Lord has a far better plan for our lives than what we could ever imagine or dare to plan. God Bless you all!

Susan said...

I had to smile when I read this post. I've been doing the same thing with Katey. Why isn't she walking, she doesn't really sign, she has completely stopped saying the few words she knew so well before surgery. And then my dh reminds me the same thing as yours..."she's come so far in such a short time!" The funny thing is, I look at the pics on your blog & think "wow, the C.N. is doing so well!"