Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Territory

Billy and I have been questioning the little boys speech for awhile. Without trying to compare to Gavin (who was well above the curve), we knew they were behind but continued to wait to see if their speech would get better. We knew they could hear us, they are following instructions and they are "trying" to repeat us, but what comes out of their mouth is not always clear/understandable.

In January, we decided to contact ECI (Early Childhood Intervention). Honestly, I had alot of anxiety about admitting that help was needed, but with lots of prayers my anxiety has calmed. Praise God! We met with ECI and filled out lots of paperwork that enabled us to make a speech evaluation appointment. We made the appointment for 2-19, but had to cancel because we had the flu. When the lady from ECI called me back to reschedule the appointment, she was basically trying to talk me out of having someone come out because the boys were too close to age 3. ECI is a program that helps children from birth-3 who are experiencing delays. It is state funded...that should have been my first clue. I am not saying that state funded programs are not beneficial, but in my case, I soon realized that they would try to do everything to "not" qualify them for their program instead of trying to help me establish "what" the issue was. After some counseling from my dear friend Ashley (who also happens to be a speech therapist/stay-at-home mom), I decided to go the "private" direction.

After talking to a few people and consulting with my insurance, I found a place to provide private speech therapy. I took the little boys last Thursday for their first visit/evaluation. Within 45 minutes, the speech therapist told me that both of their tongues were mildly "tied". Which basically means that the muscle under the tongue is more attached (to the tongue) than it should be. This restricts the tongue and does not allow certain sounds to come out as they should. Gage & Grayson both can stick their tongues out of their mouth (which is good), but the cannot lift their tongues up. This is where therapy comes in...she will work with them both to help stretch out their muscles in their mouth, ultimately allowing sounds to come out properly. She seems to think that she can correct their issue and have them speaking clearly by age 4.

Honestly, I am a bit overwhelmed with the thought of going weekly to speech therapy, but will do what is needed to help my kids communicate clearly. Oh, and I forgot to add that there is homework, which is more overwhelming to me than the therapy. I will post more on that later. For me, being overwhelmed is normal reaction to an unfamiliar situation. I know that as I process everything, it will come much easier to me.

This will definitely be a challenge, but I am still blessed.

I am blessed to finally know what is going on with them.
I am blessed that they can get better.
I am blessed to have great friends to lean on.
I am blessed to have insurance.
I am blessed that the sweet speech therapist is only charging me one copay instead of two.
I am blessed to have healthy children.

If you think of us, please lift us up in your prayers as we transition into new territory.



Amy said...

They told us the Madilyn was tongue tied too when she was born and that they would need to cut the piece under her tongue. They thought this b/c she was not sucking good. Anyways we waited to see and she was did stretch out on it's own.
Good luck with the homework, just one more thing to add to your plate! Praise God that a little stretching will fix it.

The Rypple Effect said...

Hey Tanni - ECI is a great program, but yes, at 3 you are released from services and then your local school district is required to pick up services if they are still needed as an educational need. Just some more info for you...when the boys turn 3, like I said your local school district has to provide services if they are in the mild to severe range with their speech. They can just do like what you are doing in private therapy, but it is free. This falls under special ed services, but can be very beneficial since they would be getting double the therapy. Just a thought. I teach Pre-K w/ PPCD (Preschool program for children w/ disablities) so I have many kids with speech concerns all the say to major physical disabilities. The eariler they are in the better - you made the right decision!

Wendy@RuensOnTheRun said...

Hudson who needed twice a week private therapy for many years and still works on the /l/ sound at his current Elem. school....was NOT eligible for ECI. Even though NOBODY could understand what he was saying except for me...I swear it seemed like they judged our house rather than our child on whether or not he should qualify for assistance. Here he is 8 still working on one last sound, but at the age of 2...ECI said he was fine! Not sure if you say my blog post about a week ago...we will be starting the process all over again with Jax soon.
Be very thankful your insurance covered it - ours did not cover a penny, and it's not cheap!
Let me know if you have any questions or stress regarding all of this...been there, done that for many years and about to start again with the baby, and YOU KNOW I get anxiety and get overwhelmed as easy as you!
Love ya!! You all will get through this, it just takes time.

kammy said...

We'll be praying for a smooth transition and peace as you chart these new waters. We know without a doubt that you'll conquer these new challenges just as gracefully & amazingly as you did going from one rambuctious boy to three! Love you guys!

Kimberly said...

hey- we will be praying for you guys too, for the weekly visits and the homework, which I am sure you will be great at! I am glad that you feel reassured about it, and have a plan going forward, and don't have to worry anymore :)