After 2.5 years of private speech therapy – he’s graduated!

{this post is underwritten by The Hello Foundation} 

Last week marked a significant milestone for our family, specifically our 4.5 year old little guy…

…After over two years of private speech therapy at home, and then within our school district, he graduated from services!  He’s certainly proud of himself, outlining an exact plan for just how to celebrate, but oh my, his family is SO very proud of him too.

We all attended the very last therapy session, waiting for him to wrap up the final evaluation.

Leading up to the day, and while I waited, this Mama’s mind traveled down memory lane.  Remembering the ups and downs of this therapy journey.

I’ll just share a peek….

{age 2 – the cutest little thing even though his mouth is all smudgy!}

A Need for Intervention

When 2011 dawned, it found me a really exhausted Mom.

Our family was incredibly tired after several challenges of the previous year, and our youngest at nearly 18 months grew steadily in every area except speech…and I couldn’t figure out why.

I knew his verbal skills differed from our other children, but then decided this was child #5 and guess what?  He would talk when he was ready! {I just *might* have had a slight attitude about it all!  Remember I was overall too tired to think properly}

Yet as a few more months rolled by, I saw telltale signs that our son was MORE than ready to talk, and had a strong desire.  He just couldn’t form the words.

He couldn’t make his mouth, lips, tongue move in the ways they needed to, the ways he wanted them to.

Just shy of his 2nd birthday, we recognized only 6 ‘sounds’  and ONE clear word (Mama) he made to identify who or what he needed.  The more he desperately tried to talk (it was truly painful to watch him grope for sounds/words), the less he could actually do it.

We knew then our little one needed help.

{sorry for the fuzzy pic!  at age 3 with his speech therapist}

Home-Based Private Speech Therapy

After connecting with the Early Intervention program for our area, home-based therapy began to work on what was now identified as apraxia of speech.

I would love to say it all went very smoothly, and with both of his parents’ background in education, that our little one sailed through the process.

Not so.  His journey was very tough at first.

At only 2 his desire to speak was minimal, and he lived in eery silence most of the time.  Any attempt to have him repeat sounds or words was met with stubborn resistance – and silence.

But with the extra gentle help of our therapists, we all dove into the world of sign language, speech  and occupational therapy techniques, and slowly…

…slowly, he tried again.  Believed again that yes, he could talk.

That was 2.5 years ago, and the rest has been history.

We are forever indebted to Ms. Andrea, Ms. Kiki, Ms. Patty and Ms. Lyndsey – the wonderful therapists whom we’ve grown to know and appreciate so much.

{just last week, game time at final speech evaluation}

Additional Speech Therapy Help for Parents

While tax dollars supported the private speech therapy our son received, I did a considerable amount of research on verbal apraxia and considered additional therapy to complement what was already taking place.

What I didn’t know then was a resource for speech therapy online!

Organizations such as The Hello Foundation offer both private speech and occupational therapy in the comfort of your own home.  This is significant for parents who cannot access other programs or have a child who finds difficulty in transitioning to other environments.

Whether it’s a stuttering concern, speech delay, apraxia or other need, Hello Foundation’s approach is to personally connect your family with therapists to meet your child’s needs.

For young children such our guy, Hello Foundation focuses on consulting & working with parents, a trusted approach used in our journey as well.

If you should have any level of concern about your daughter or son’s speech habits — DON’T go it alone.  Don’t wonder silently or think ‘it’s no big deal’.

I am so very glad we didn’t.

Hello Foundation offers a FREE 40 minute consult prior to investing in online services.  Check out their blog or follow on Facebook for more information.

 

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1 comment

ALICE P. EVANS

It is with great pleasure that I congratulate Jeremiah on his graduation. He will be hearing from us in the near future with a gift. Thanks for all the work and time you put into his accomplishments.
Love always,
Mom