I haven't written much about our upcoming speech transition. Calvin will be 3 in about 3 weeks and will no longer be eligible for 1st Steps speech therapy. We are so sad to say goodbye to our wonderful therapist, Renee.
Anyway, we had our 2nd meeting (Calvin's screening) with the school the day after we arrived home from Iowa - the first meeting was in December. I came away from this appointment feeling VERY discouraged. It's not that they weren't nice...I'm not even exactly sure what it was. I just got the impression that they were trying to find more problems and already "knew" he must have them if he was adopted and had a cleft. While we don't want to ignore any issues, we really don't have other concerns (other than the speech) at this time. I also almost felt guilty for not having him in a Mom's Day Out or class or something even though we make a point of having play dates and doing other things.
It's all been weighing heavily on my mind. We talked with the speech pathologist at Shriner's and got her perspective on some of it - she gave us an article to give the school so they would use the proper speech techniques for a cleft kid which are different. We discussed preschool, speech, development etc. Andrew and I have also been talking almost daily about what to do. We just really want to feel peaceful about the decision we make for Calvin and we want to make sure he is getting the best help possible.
Friday, I grumbled a little as I headed to work - I was tired after our big trip on Thursday and just didn't feel like being bubbly for my patients. 7:30 a.m. was my very first appointment and I noticed that the patient happened to work as a speech pathologist. I made small talk for a few minutes and then asked her about her work. It just so happens, that craniofacial anomalies are her specialty and especially clefts - she works with a local team of doctors and other professionals.
We discussed Calvin's past, treatment, speech, and school evaluation as well as our experience with a local hospital. She was so kind and so compassionate and listened to my concerns, offered advice and gave me the best news: our insurance should cover private therapy since it is related to a medical condition! I had not even considered this as a possibility. She does private sessions as does the other pathologist she works with. She also explained how correctable speech errors are with children who have had clefts and that they usually have a very good prognosis in a short amount of time. She gave me her number and e-mail but most of all, she gave me hope and encouragement!
As I called Andrew to let him know of my Divine Appointment, I couldn't help the tears that filled my eyes. She was exactly who I needed to meet on Friday (it was interesting to both of us that we had never met - through dental or cleft stuff). She told me to contact her at any time for advice, 2nd opinion, or whatever else. What a blessing. I am so encouraged. We see our pediatrician next week and I plan to ask for a speech therapy referral to the hospital and to discuss the other concerns I've had since talking to the school.