In the last post, I gave an example of how listening to my gut saved my child’s life. The following is another example of the benefits of trusting my gut. My child may have had speech delays or been labeled had I just followed the first two opinions I received and did not continue to advocate on her behalf.
My Experiences Continued
After adopting our daughter in China and bringing her home, several months pass and we could not possibly be more in love. At this point, my daughter is almost two. She is walking, running, playing, giggling, drinking from a cup, loves books, gets excited when we go to the playground where she enjoys the equipment, and developing normally. In other words, our daughter is developing beautifully. BUT, she is not saying any words.
Back to the pediatrician I go. I ask if this could it be due to her hearing or her tonsils (places to start) and could you recommend someone to test her. “Mom, you don’t know Chinese children,” he said, dismissing my concerns. I will never forget that statement.
Basically, he is suggesting I just let her ”grow out of it.” Maybe that would have worked, maybe not. I was NOT willing to take the chance.
So, I ask around and find a center that is highly recommended for testing for language issues. After a day of testing my child (who is a feisty young girl) we were taken into a conference room for the results. To make a long story short, after seeing my little girl their conclusion was that she is mute, and we are too busy to help you.
I remember going home and, after my daughter was settled in an activity, going to a private place to cry. My next reaction was to realize their information was ridiculous. They spent one day with my daughter, how dare they label her with something so conclusive. They did not even give me ideas of where to go next for help. (Maybe she was distracted…. maybe she had a cold…You know, sometimes children do NOT perform with new people).
I decided there was no way I was going to take the word of this center as definitive. I wanted another evaluation and good services. She was going to have services that supported her and were NOT going to be punitive in any way.
I was fortunate, I knew the system. I had her tested and we received an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) that include a speech pathologist who did play therapy at our home. I would have gotten a new doctor, but we were moving.
When we arrived in the new state. The new pediatrician thought it was her tonsils and adenoids. We went to a specialist who concurred it was her tonsils and adenoids. Once they were out, language developed rapidly.
FYI, my daughter is a young adult now, who speaks beautifully. In fact, no language issues, at all.
By the way, if you are interested in getting an IFSP for your child, the process varies by state. To find out information for your state, do the following search:
I want an IFSP in __________ (Enter your state where the line is.)
My child benefited from my intuition. Parents/ guardians, I suggest you stick to the rule of AT LEAST THREE. If you feel there is something off for your child and you are not getting help, get at least three opinions.
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