Choosing Speech Therapy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 3 Comments A+ a-

I’ve gotten a number of emails and questions regarding Devyn and her need for speech therapy. Instead of trying to address each one individually, I thought I’d write it here for posterity’s sake. Please know that with any development delays with your child, I understand there’s a fine line between worrying overly much and not wanting to bury your head in the sand. I wish I could say that I never had a problem walking that line, but I often wavered between the two extremes.

I believe I began to notice that Devyn was behind in her vocabulary when we started hanging out with friends her own age. At about 18 months old, both Emma and Kaydance were talking in sentences and saying words that Devyn hadn’t even attempted yet. I would watch as they repeated words and phrases after their mothers, and it was then that the first alarm sounded.

I talked to Jon and we worked more diligently with Devyn to repeat words after us and she just wasn’t interested. About this time, my sister, Courtney, was taking a child psychology class in college and she and the rest of my family had also started to notice that Devyn didn’t seem interested in learning how to talk. Every time it was brought up to me, by a family member or friend, or every time that I made excuses for Devyn’s speech, I felt my eyes tear up.

Jon and I decided to bring it up at Devyn’s two-year-old well-child check-up and Dr. Susie was quick to point out that every child develops at their own pace. Dr. Susie expressed little concern and told us that we’d examine it again at Devyn’s three-year-old check-up.

Over the next year, we became more and more certain that Devyn’s speech was not progressing to that of a two- almost-three-year-old. She was able to say words that would help her communicate, but rarely did she offer more than that. It got to the point where Devyn had to say very little because one of us could always either anticipate her needs or understand what it was she was saying. We were still either explaining or interpreting Devyn’s speech for extended family members and friends.

At her three-year-old well-child check-up, Dr. Susie confirmed that Devyn needed additional testing and you can pick up the rest of the story here.

My heart goes out to any mother/father who looks at their child and plays the wondering game. It’s hard to admit that we wonder if our child may be less than perfect, and I know that it’s often easier to pretend that nothing is going on either. My only advice is this; remember that a) every child does develop at his or her own pace, it does no good to compare, and b) go with your gut, If you feel there may be problem or reason for concern, consult with your doctor. And even then, know that you are the parent and you have every right to demand answers.

I am constantly awed at Devyn’s progress in less than a year. She has made tremendous strides and our conversations are oh, so sweet now. Of course, we still have some speech-sound issues but I’m confident that with Devyn’s willingness to learn and with the expertise of her speech therapists, that she’s on the right path.

I am so proud of you, Munchkin!

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.


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12:41 PM delete

She is a very smart, caring, loving and beautful little girl!

Amazing Racer
12:04 AM delete

Devyn's speech journey has been such a joy to read and such a testimony of hope.

I love it. Way to go, Devyn!

10:54 PM delete

I'm glad you are seeing such progress with Devyn and speech therapy. I wish I could say the same for my god-daughter. She seems to have hit a point where she's degressing. At times she speaks quite plainly, but most of the time we can barely understand anything now. I'm not sure what's going on with her. I no longer live close enough to her to work with her on a daily basis like I used to (this was before her therapy started). Would you please pray for her or maybe even ask Devyn to pray for her? (Her name is Genna.) And if you ever have any nuggets of wisdom to pass along, I'd appreciate it.