Friday, July 17, 2015

Life Lately | Part I

A lot has been going on around our house and I wanted to wait until I had some answers before I shared anything.

Sounds ominous, yes?  Good news: It's not.

Today I'll start with Baby A, Jude the Dude.  When he's not provoked, Jude is as laidback as they come.  He happily plays with friends or by himself, loves to give hugs and kisses, and always, always wants to know where his twin sister is.  He is a free spirit, full of energy, and would rather jump off your table than sit in a chair.

I can't continue this tale without also mentioning his sister.  Sloane is charming, deliberate, and so very sneaky.  More than all of this, she is a people-pleaser.  If I tell the kids it's time to pick up their toys, she's the first to oblige.  If I ask a question, she answers.  If I need something, she's on it.  This is wonderful - I have my own personal assistant - except when it comes to Jude's communication.  When I ask Jude a question, she answers it; when I ask Jude to bring me a book, she grabs one.  At this age, it is such a delicate balance of asking her to hold back while telling him to move forward.  One of my daily mantras is "Do not break their spirit."  Do not force Jude to sit still if what he needs more than anything is to move.  Do not tell Sloane to quit helping when her daily desire is to do just that.  It's tricky and what it's led to is a sweet sister who communicates for her brother.

Jude has always been a bit delayed with speech.  If you've read my blog at all you already know this.  I took him to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) at 18 months and he passed.  I was shocked.  Since then he's continued to learn new words, speak in phrases, and has a clear understanding of what we say to him.  But even though you're told never to compare, I couldn't help but notice his sister having full blown conversations with me while he sat back.  He is strong enough he can help himself to most anything and his needs are few.  I decided it was time to have him tested once more at ECI and we had his evaluation a few weeks ago.

It was almost three hours of testing in a tiny room.  They covered everything from communication to motor skills.  Jude was on his WORST behavior that day.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't embarrassed.  I watched him throw toys, hide under chairs, and completely shut down.  I realized for the first time that I have never made him continue an activity if he doesn't want to do it.  With two kids, you just try to get through the day in one piece and sometimes that means you fix things that would be helpful lessons if left broken.  I watched my happy-go-lucky son refuse to point to his feet because he was so frustrated.  It was hard to watch - I just wanted to grab him and run.

Once they scored the test, I learned he passed everything but receptive communication.  Example: "Jude, point to your feet."  The therapist told me Jude would've passed but each time he was frustrated and refused to cooperate, they had to give him a 0.  Jude knows his body parts but wouldn't point to anything.  0.  He knows that milk goes in a cup, but wouldn't point to the cup.  0.  The therapist was sympathetic and said she truly believed he could do these things but without seeing it, they couldn't assume.  And so she left it up to me.  Did I want Jude to have a speech therapist until he turned three?

It took me less than two seconds to say YES.  I looked at my frustrated son and realized we both need help with his communication.  Just as much as he needs to learn how to better communicate, I need to learn how to help him.  A speech therapist will come to our house once a week for an hour.  She will sit right next to him, teaching him new things, and I will be on his other side, taking as many mental notes as I can to make sure I can help him the other six days.

Today was his first appointment.  Lauren is his therapist and they really hit it off.  She made him laugh, which made her laugh (this child's laugh is second to none).  They worked together on a letter game and while he was reluctant at first, he listened.  And then he smiled.  And then he participated.

He will receive help over the next three months and then he'll be evaluated again to see if he needs to continue speech therapy once he turns three.

I don't think any parent wants to hear their child needs therapy.  At the same time, every parent wants the absolute best for their child.  I'm proud of him every day but today was exceptional.  Twins get so little one-on-one time and Lauren did such a good job of making today FUN. I got to see my son be the center of attention when he has allowed Sloane to carry that title for 2.5 years.

My prayer over the next three months is that Jude will not only gain words but also confidence.  I have so much confidence in him and now it's his turn to realize it for himself.








8 comments:

The Joiners said...

He seems like such a sweet little guy and I just want to give him a hug... probably because he reminds me a little of Colby. I felt the same way yesterday just in having his hearing tested at our ENT appointment- even though his language is ok, it is still never fun to be told your child doesn't "pass" something!

Anyway, hope this therapist is just what Jude needs and that he's stealing Sloane's spotlight in no time ;)

Heldreth Twins + 1 said...

One of my twins qualified for ECI services and while I didn't want to admit there was a delay, the weekly therapy appointments now have him behaving more socially, not shutting down when someone new is around, and he is now saying more than his brother who did not qualify. It was an absolute blessing to qualify even though it felt like some admission that I was failing him -- I wasn't but as a mom the mom-guilt is real and can make you crazy! Good luck! It's been a definite blessing for us!

ashley said...

Awe Jude is so stinking adorable! I think it's great your taking the steps you feel necessary to help Jude! I never shared on my Instagram or the blog I never wrote on (trying to write now) haha but kason had to wear a starband because of a severe case of torticollis and flat spot at birth! It's hard to see our kids go thru things but the end result is worth it:)

Ann Marie said...

You are an amazing Momma... and Jude is lucky to have you!! And I can prove that he knows where his feet are. He has some mad jumping skills. :)

Melissa Hanna said...

You are extremely lucky to have 2 beautiful and Healthy kids. This is one t NJ in he needs a little help with and you will see he will succeed. You are a good mom and caught it early enough. I'm also a mom of boy girl twins now 3 and 1/2. And also a 5 and a 1/2. My baby A my only son has speech delay that I noticed at 18 months and got him into early intervention. As it did help he was still delayed when we went to get him evaluated again they told us he was on the Autism spectrum. As that was the hardest thing in the world to hear. We just wanted to do whatever it takes to help him. He is now in the public school and doing good. So keep up all the hard work as mother we are always doing and know you are doing great. Best of luck to him and all of you.

Kathryn Goldsmith said...

Meredith, we did ECI for Hazel at about 18 months as well. They told us that she was at the level of maybe a one-year-old. It was hard to hear, but after several months of ECI and being intentional about doing what they recommended she caught up pretty quickly! She now speaks really well and clearly. I don't know if she was really delayed or just taking her time, but I was so glad we did ECI. Just wanted to let you know!

Heather said...

Jude sounds a lot like my Tensley (my Baby B). I took her to ECI at 2.5 and she didn't qualify for assistance. She barely passed receptive and failed expressive language. We have been doing therapy twice a week since the Fall and she now talks my ear off and we understand enough to know what she wants. I bet you will see big improvements with Jude after just a few weeks.

Kerry said...

Both of my sons qualified yesterday for ECI in speech therapy. They're 30 months old and they scored around where a 20-24 month old child would. I'm having a tough time with it (mom guilt is REAL!) but then I remembered this post of your's. I immediately came back to it and read the whole thing through multiple times and then came down to the comments. So much support! The support wasn't necessarily directed at me, but I can't tell you how much it helped me. Today is a new day and we're working towards a plan to get my boys where they should be! Trying to put my own feelings aside of feeling as though I've failed them, I'm focused on them and what they need and deserve. And am greatly looking forward to having full blown conversations with them and hearing about all the thoughts in their little heads!
I was wondering how Jude is doing now - did he continue therapy past 3? Have you seen improvements?
By the way, this is ker_hanson on Instagram - we've chatted a few times! :)

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