Archive for July 6th, 2013

A New Horizon

I am filled with a new hope this summer.

According to Wikipedia (the world’s authority on definitions and usages these days!), “Hope is the state which promotes the belief in good outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life.”

Hope is so important, isn’t it? It’s hope that keeps me from complacency and stagnation. It’s hope for the future. Hope for improvement.

Life with children with disabilities can certainly be stagnant. While our children’s progression and successes are definitely successes, they are painfully slow at times.

We parents get into the monotonous routine of therapies and stretches, medicines and appointments, research and keeping records. Simply getting out the door in the morning oftentimes zaps a day’s worth of energy and stamina right from our body and soul.

Yáll know me well enough to know that I love my life just as it is. But it is a lot of work and is often difficult. Don’t ever let me paint a picture contrary.

But right now, this summer? I’m filled with a new hope. I’m hopeful for some improvements in Chloe because of some new therapies.

I opted to take a break from private speech therapy 2 years ago. It was to be just for the summer as I immediately put Chloe’s name on the wait list for a therapy center that comes to your home for therapy. (Praise God for home visits vs. driving all over town!!) I had no idea that she would be on the wait list for that long!!

But she finally is receiving speech therapy. TWICE a WEEK! Can’t remember the last time Chloe received therapy that often. And I’m in love with her new therapist. She seems really good at what she does, and she is excited to work with Chloe.

While I explained that my main goal is to get Chloe going on a device finally — school has been sooooooooo slooooooooowwwwww to get her going on anything for some reason — this new therapist really also wants to work on some articulation with her. Usually at the age of 11 1/2, therapists aren’t too gung-ho on working on articulation, but this therapist thinks that since Chloe walked so late and is still progressing orally and physically that there is a chance that she’ll gain some more articulation skills. (For those non-speech-therapy-type readers, that means that maybe there’s a chance that Chloe will use some spoken language that we can understand so the speech therapist is working on speech sounds with her.) That is exciting stuff!! And Chloe is responding beautifully to it! We can already tell a difference/improvement in some of her speech even after just a month! Yay!!

For those who may be interested in a little more detail of her artic/speech time, this therapist has pointed out the fact that Chloe can usually make one sound of a word, but she lacks the motor plan to string any sounds together. So she is working with a program that has a definite motor plan aspect to it. As Chloe makes the /e/ sound, she pushes her flat hands up beside her head as though she’s lifting a heavy trunk. As she makes the /l/ sound, she makes an L with her right hand and touches her right cheek. So every sound has a “motion” if you will; thus, helping her with the motor plan part of stringing sounds together. She loves it!!

The other therapy that gives me hope right now is Chloe’s new physical therapy. In the past year, Chloe’s gait (walking) has gotten way worse. Her knees are more bent, she’s more bent at the hips, and her bottom sticks out farther. It doesn’t matter to me if it looks nice or not, but it does matter to me if it’s functional. Her walk is definitely losing some function, and it is not easy for her to do.

She’s been on the wait list for physical therapy for 2 years, also. Crazy, right? But finally one of her wonderful neurologists made a phone call and got her moved to the top of the list for physical therapy. So now she’s in.

The part of physical therapy that I’m excited about? It’s TWICE a WEEK, too!! I’m so excited that she will surely make some great progress at that frequency! The other thing I’m excited about is that she will likely do some of this therapy in the water. This clinic has aquatic therapy which is the reason we were referred there in the first place. The therapist isn’t positive that Chloe will show enough progress in the water to justify aquatic therapy, but the opportunity is there for her. Excited!


And hopeful! Yes!

The unspoken part of this is that our schedule just got a lot busier!! But the hope outweighs my messy calendar! I look forward to giving you updates on Chloe’s progress!

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