Friday, October 30, 2009

Our speech delay journey

We have been blessed with two wonderful boys. They are full of energy and bring so much joy into our life. Our youngest son Caleb was diagnosed with a severe speech delay when he was three years old. When he was born he seemed normal. When he turned turned two we were very concerned with his lack of speech. After all his older brother could talk very good at two years old. Caleb was different. When he turned three we talked to our pediatrician. We were sent to a speech therapist. His first speech therapist was a fruit cake. She offered us no hope and no help. We were told our son was mentally retarded and would never talk. I would cry every time we went to see the speech therapist. Caleb would cry as well. He did not want to go either. We disagreed with this evaluation. When Caleb went to his first speech evaluation he had not had a nap and was very grumpy. He had no interest in wanting to go through an evaluation process. We felt it was wrong to "label" a child after a 30 min test. Not every child thinks inside the box. Sometimes it is a gift to think outside the box. We fired that speech therapist. It took me 6 months before I would have the courage to try another speech therapist. During that time our son would have 4 seizures. We were very afraid. We prayed and gave Caleb over to God. God has been with us each step of the way. The second speech therapist was a gift from God. It took her three sessions to give Caleb an evaluation. It was her opinion that Caleb was a very bright child with a severe speech delay. She felt that with a lot of hard work Caleb would overcome his speech delay. Caleb is now 9 years old and can talk. He is a very good student in school and a blessing from God. He still has some trouble sounds that we work on. However he speaks well enough that people don't look at me to tell them what he has said. We have come farther than I ever imagined was possible. I would like to encourage everyone that has a child with a speech delay. Please don't give up. There is always hope.