Anyone who follows my Facebook knows that Gracie is in Speech Therapy.
I knew that something was a little off at about 1 1/2 years old. She wasn't reaching speaking milestones and it was getting worse the more time went on. People kept saying "Every kid is different, she will speak at 2." Well, 2 came around and she hadn't made any progress. Still very happy in her own little world of babble with a few words thrown in there. I was tired of listening to other people and I followed my mommy gut and got her evaluated by a speech therapist.
One good thing about the military is that they are ON it about kids issues. We first saw an ear doctor to make sure all the ear infections Grace has had didn't cause scaring, which could have been affecting the way she was hearing things, which would explain why she wasn't talking. Her ears were totally fine and she can hear great.
From there, we went to the speech therapist who said Gracie is spot on with cognitive development. She's very smart and understands everything you tell her. She just doesn't express it. She was about 6 months behind in expressive development.
We put her in two 30 minute sessions a week since the end of June.
The difference it has made...I can't even tell you.
She talks ALL the time now. She sings ALL the time now. It's still not fluent, and she still uses a lot of blabber, but she has so many more words. When she gets excited or nervous, she reverts a little back to babble. But she understands everything. I've NEVER had a problem of her not understanding. She's very smart that way. She is also a SPONGE. You teach her something once, and she leaches on to it. I am so grateful for that. I am sure that her eagerness to learn is why she is making such amazing progress in such a short amount of time.
I am GLAD I listened to my mommy gut and took her in to be seen.
That is the biggest lesson I learned here? Listen to your gut.
I am Gracie's mom, I spend every hour of her life with her. I know her better than anyone in this world knows her. I knew something was off, that she needed a little push, and I was right.
Never stop advocating for your kiddos, even when everyone else is telling you to do something different or that everything is "fine". NEVER feel guilty about your child needing a little extra help. I was RACKED with guilt for the first month. Why was this therapist working with Gracie, but what I was doing at home wasn't working? Was what I was doing not good enough? Was I not a good enough mother? Was Gracie delayed because of me? Get those thoughts WAY out of your brain, they are toxic.
Have you ever taken your kid to a babysitter and they were the perfect child for them? Or taken them to nursery at church and they didn't have one problem with them and they were sweet and loving the whole time? Which, of course, leaves you wondering if your child has been body snatched because as sweet as they are, you know your kid and it's hard to believe that not one fit was thrown over who got to go down the slide first.
The same principle is applied here. I do the same things the therapist does with Gracie, but I am mommy. Sometimes, and most times, kids need someone on the outside to give them a little push. Your kids act differently for other people. Instead of focusing on why they wouldn't do the same things with you, focus on the fact that they will do it will other people and just be happy about it. That's where I am at now.
Grace continues to make strides in therapy, and I can't wait till the day where she doesn't need it anymore. But till then, I am enjoying watching this whole new world open up for her. It's an exciting time for her and for us.
P.S. Listening to her say "I love you, mommy." is my very favorite thing in this entire world.