This Mama's Heart

Friday, September 05, 2008 9 Comments A+ a-

Please excuse this mama as she pours her heart out all over this blog; its taken a few moments to collect myself to even be able to type these words. I don’t have time to go back and look at my archives, so I’m not sure if I mentioned this story or not. I’ll start at the beginning:

Devyn was in speech therapy from December of 2007 through the end of June 2008; at that time Jon’s medical insurance changed and we had to put speech therapy on hold. Her therapist kindly pointed us in the direction of the public school district and the possible speech therapy services and preschool services available through them.

When Jon took her to the initial assessment for the school district, we were told at that time that the preschool took place four afternoons a week, for three and a half hours a day. Ummm, not an option in my mind. (Please know this is JUST my opinion for my little girl, I am not judging or condemning any other decisions made by other parents for their children.) We were of the opinion that our three-year-old daughter is not ready for a kindergarten-type schedule and should still be at home playing with her brother, her best friend. We continued with the assessment, even though we already knew that if she qualified for the program, she wouldn’t be attending the preschool. Besides I felt, and still feel, that we could work with Devyn on her speech-sound issues at home and if at the assessment next summer, she still qualified for the preschool program, she could go once she was four.

Fast-forward to today, I’m at work when an early childhood therapist called to follow-up on Devyn’s assessment. We discussed my concerns about the four-day preschool week and discussed the speech therapy services that are available. It was then that the therapist mentioned Devyn didn’t have to attend all four days and could only do two afternoons a week if we preferred. Suddenly, I felt better about the situation and hopeful that something could be worked out.

I was told that Devyn needed to come for a second assessment with a panel consisting of a speech therapist, a teacher, and an occupational therapist. We set up the appointment for next week, and then Jon, the panel, and I will have a team meeting another two weeks after that to discuss the results from the assessment and form a plan to help Devyn succeed. At this point in the conversation, I’m feeling blessed and buoyed with hope.

And then a niggling thought crept in my brain and I realized that we would not be going into all this trouble if there weren’t a reason or cause for concern. I asked the question, dread filling my every word, “What does her first assessment say?” Then with tears in my eyes, I listened as the therapist checked each point off Devyn’s assessment. “Severe speech-sound issues, unintelligible words and conversation, scored low on motor schools.” Each bullet point pierced this mother’s heart and I had to do everything within my power to keep the therapist from hearing the tears in my voice. We hung up the phone and I dropped my head to my desk and had a good cry.

This is hard, one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch and endure as a mother. Even Jon had a hard time watching Devyn being poked, prodded, and assessed. It’s horrible knowing that your child isn’t where she should be; it’s heartbreaking to watch your daughter struggle with words and struggling to respond to questions; it takes everything within you to not reach out and want to fix it yourself, or even to shut out the rest of the world.

I told Jon that I think it was such a shock to me because I’ve seen the progress that Devyn has made in just eight months; its so easy to focus on all that she’s accomplished that I continually ignored the areas where Devyn still obviously needs more work. Jon is handling this so much more calmly than I am, and truth be told, I need his voice of reason right now. We were (are) aware of these issues, we have ways to deal with them, and we’re dealing with it now. God is good, He’s providing some incredible services for us, and I don’t doubt for a minute that Devyn is exactly who He created her to be. He obviously matched Devyn up with us as her parents for a reason, and all we can do is love her and offer her the kind of support she needs to succeed.

Pray for us, won’t you? Beneath the quiet demeanor and shy exterior, lies a sassy, little girl with spunk and a willingness to fight. Pray that we can help mold those qualities to help her overcome her speech issues. She is beautiful, my baby girl, and perfect just the way God made her!

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

9 comments

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Amy...
AUTHOR
9:44 AM delete

Devyn has been fearfully and wonderfully made...perfect (and beautiful. And you're the perfect parents to guide her through these obstacles! Praying for you...that you would be encouraged by God's promises today. Love you!

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Christine
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10:10 AM delete

You are completely right that God gave her to you and Jon purposefully. You already are proving God's choice perfect (not that it needs proving) by accepting the challenges and moving forward to help Devyn overcome them. Many blessings are ahead of her, and you, and I will pray for your peace of mind and her continued improvement!

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Jaime
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11:27 AM delete

I'm praying for you as well. I'm no speech therapist or childhood educator, but please remember that all children develop at different rates! Just because Devyn may be a bit behind some of her peers at this point in the game, doesn't mean she won't catch up or fly by them later on! Joel's brother was this way---by the time kindergarten rolled around, he still wasn't speaking clearly enough to go to school. However, he did catch up! He just graduated from college in the top percentage of his class, and is an incredibly gifted writer and speaker. I just recently mentioned his blog in one of my posts. Anyway, keep your chin up, Devyn seems like a smart and beautiful little girl! And you're right, she's absolutely the person God created her to be!

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Melody
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12:44 AM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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Melody
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12:45 AM delete

I'll be praying for her and you too there Momma. It's hard to not be able to fix things for them or always come to their rescue. My goddaughter is also undergoing speech therapy. I have a feeling you and I will have some stories to swap soon. She's also 3 years old.

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Anonymous
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8:08 AM delete

You guys STAY STRONG! This is just a hiccup in her life. The therapy will help you just stay strong. Tell her that a small family in Albuquerque, NM has her and you guys in their prayers.

How exciting another munchkin :)

Just STAY STRONG! Have an awesome Sunday :)

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Amazing Racer
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3:40 PM delete

Jenn,

I hear your heart, and I am praying.

Those assessments are always hard to hear. I'm glad you had yourself a good cry.

Devyn has had a TON of improvement from when you first shared this. It always amazes me when you share her conversations!

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8:11 PM delete

Oh Jen, I can't imagine how hard that would be. But you are right, Devyn is fearfully and wonderfully made. God is good and faithful and I pray that He will give you the strength and wisdom that you need. Devyn is so blessed to have you as her mom. Your love for the Lord and for her will help her to continue to blossom.

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Stacey
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8:03 AM delete

Oh wow. My heart aches with you. We just want to protect them from every little thing in this life, don't we?
I know you are strong, and in the big picture, this stuff is no bog deal, but I understand your tears. I am hugging you across the miles.

Love you.

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