No one likes walking into the middle of a conversation! You can read part 1 here.
After we met with the school officials about E’s IEP and determined they wouldn’t be able to help him, I went home and scoured the internet for solutions. I was determined to help at least his physical delays, praying the mental would sort of work itself out.
I looked at blogs and pins for activities to alleviate his chewing, strengthen his hands, improve his visual motor integration and figure out a way to help him socially.
We brought earmuffs to noisy, crowded places. He ate a lot of carrots and pretzels and apples to get more oral stimulation. He ate applesauce and yogurt through a straw to strengthen his tongue in hopes that it would help his language delay. He pinched clothespins and chip clips on to the rim of a cup and back off again. I learned about all the different types of sensory input and what they do in our brains and how physical movement is so closely related to how our brains function.
All of this helped. His chewing became less frequent. He wasn’t as scared in crowds and around music or loud noises with the earmuffs. Yes, that took a little while to ignore the stares people gave my son. His thumbs got stronger and he was able to snap his pants and use a proper grasp on door knobs.
But, by the time we realized the rest of it wasn’t getting better, that he really wasn’t going to grow out of it, another 6 months had passed. I know this doesn’t seem like a long time, but when you’re faced with developmental delays, the most common advice for getting help that you’ll hear is “the earlier and the younger, the better.” So while 6 months may not seem like adequate time to give him to improve and mature, it feels like a lifetime knowing he’s not improving, and that he’s just getting older and farther behind. So, our only other option was to go the medical route.
We were still relatively new to Alabama so we had to jump through some hoops with a new pediatrician in order to get the referrals we needed to have him evaluated again. Thankfully, the wait list was shorter than I expected, and there is no threshold to meet, the therapists will help you as long as someone pays for it.
It’s so true we have to advocate for our children, especially the ones who are like E and are delayed, but not delayed enough. Were you ever in a position where you were the only one who could help your child?
continue to part 3