Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No words.

Our middle child, Jonah, has a speech problem. I first realized this when he was about 18 months old. He only said a handful of words, but most of them didn't "count" (doctors and therapist don't count names when they ask how many words do they know).

Da. (daddy)


and maybe two or three others.

He didn't babble like most kids his age, nothing like our sweet boy, Peyton. I don't know what that kid's saying most of the time, but if you nod and agree, he keeps on taking. But Jonah never did that.

So I started the adventure to "fix" my kid. I thought it would be easy, most of my family members had speech problems, and was easily fixed with speech therapy. I even had a speech problem as a child, nothing like Jonah, but still.

I finally hunted down the early intervention program for Louisiana (it's called Early Steps, if you're ever wondering.) It took a while for me to find the program, and then even more time to fill out mounds of paper work, evaluations, more paper work, and then for said paperwork to be processed. At this point, Jonah was two. Early Steps only covers children under the age of 3, because at that point they can enter the public school system I guess.

Jonah loved his speech therapist, the one day a week she came was the high light of his week. I would send Blythe off, because if she was here, she was all in the middle of it. He got to have my full attention and the speech therapists full attention.

Then he turned 3.

Early Steps sent us the school board for an evaluation. They agreed that he had a speech problem, which DUH, you would have to be deaf not to realize that.

Then the school system and I had a communication problem. The woman at the school board office told me that for Jonah to receive speech therapy through the school system, he had to be enrolled IN the school system. I don't know what it's called in other states, but PRE-pre-k (3 year olds) in Louisiana, is called Head Start. And over my dead, cold, lifeless body was I going to send my baby to Head Start.

1. It's located at the worst school in the parish (they're ALL bad)

2. They don't teach the children anything.

3. Only crack heads send their kids to Head Start, looking for a free baby sitter.

My baby was not going to school with crack babies. In CrackVille. And not learn anything. Plus, Blythe was already going to school at the church school/private school, AKA where people who love their kids that care about their educations go (That may sound harsh, but the truth hurts. We had to scrimp and save every penny for them to be able to go there, but it was for their education, it was more than worth it) . It's a great program, kids that go there 3 year old - kindergarten have a great advantage over kids that go to the public school. So we were sending him there anyway. They only thing was that they didn't offer speech therapy. They used to, and it was through the public school system, even though they're a private school, but due to budget cuts and such, the school system cut it out.

The nearest speech therapist is an hour away. We just couldn't afford it at that time. We tried all we could to help him at home, but with little luck. Jonah developed his own sign language. We were all so frustrated. I just wanted to be able to have a conversation with my child.

Last year, Joey had three different pay cuts that equaled 40% of his pay check. Times got hard. There was no way we could even THINK about sending them back to the church school/private school. So I sent my babies to Hell (this is what I referred to the public school last year.) They learned very very little. And yes, Jonah was able to have speech therapy again, but because of pay cuts, they school system is short on speech therapist, so the few they do have have to go around to all the school, so they don't have enough time. So they do group speech therapy. Which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. We saw very little improvement.

Things are changing at our house. My husband just took a job that tripled his salary. First thing I did was go and enroll Blythe and Jonah in The Christian School. (This is not the same as the church/private school. That one only goes to kindergarten, and Blythe is going into the 1st. This is also a private school.) It's the best thing in the parish. The kids there score two grades higher than what they're in when they take the state tests. And now we can afford it, thank you dear, sweet, Jesus.

Then I found the name of a speech therapist. Thought I was going to "fix" my baby.

Our current insurance (still from the old job) doesn't cover speech therapy. That just burst my bubble. But it's ok. I picked my self up off the floor where I was having a pity party, and realized it'll be ok. Either the new insurance will cover speech therapy or it won't. And if it doesn't, well, that's ok too. I'll be able to pay for it out of pocket now.

I feel like we're getting some where now.


Jonah has melt downs. Serious melt downs. Here lately they're worse. And then I get angry because DAMN what's your problem, kid?!

Tonight, while Jonah was having a melt down, I almost said to him, "Son, use your words!"

But then I realized.

He has no words.

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About Me

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I have three kids:
Blythe Anne, 8
Jonah, 7
Peyton, 4

My husband and I have been married for 6 years, and I spend my days being a stay at home mom while he's a driller on a land rig. So for six months of the year (he works a week on, a week off), I'm raising these kids by myself. I would write more, but I hear children screaming :)

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