Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saying Good-bye to EI

Today was our last meeting with EI.  It was so sad to see them go.  Our Developmental Specialist has been with us since Cha-cha was 7 months old...she was there when he learned to crawl, sit up, and say his first sounds.  The SLP took over as lead when we had the diagnosis of Apraxia, even though we had been seeing her for a good 8 months beforehand.  And the OT started once we found out about his SPD.  These three women worked tirelessly up to 4-5 times a week combined, meeting with him, going to his school, meeting with his teacher, and us as a family.  They were my go to if I had a question, concern, or wanted to share an accomplishment.  We exchange texts over funny Cha-cha-isms, fun things like our current level of "Where's the Water?" or other cool apps and websites for children ourselves.  They've attended doctor's appointments, fielding questions when we became overwhelmed, adding in additional information when necessary, and collaborated with others to bring out the best for Cha-cha.  It's a bittersweet day - Cha-cha is old enough now for school aged services and has made so much progress under their services.  How I wish we lived in a state where services would continue to the next beginning school year or until age 5, but I know that he will continue to thrive and grow with other means of support.

Cha-cha said good bye pretty nonchalantly.  At one point he even hid in his room, but then was able to come out and hug and wave them off.  He enjoyed the balloon, card and cupcakes they brought to celebrate his birthday and his accomplishments.  I shed a few tears, as did they - but I wasn't expecting Bee-bee to take it so hard. 

She had uncontrollable sobs as they pulled away.  She understands that this is it - and unless we have some by chance passing, we may not see them again.  She gets it.  The Developmental Specialist has been here since she was 3 1/2.  Because of these wonderful women, our daughter uses words like prompt, utterance, plural, intonation, and consonant-vowel sounds.  Yes, I see a future Speech Pathologist on our hands.  Over the summer she said to me, "Mommy, I don't know if I should be studying my Kindergarten stuff or my Speech Pathologist stuff."  She has sat through almost every home visit and watched and then mimicked these women after they left.  It was because of Bee-bee, we got Cha-cha to say "Ma-ma" and "Bee-bee" through her prompting.  So many times our focus has been on Cha-cha and when you turn around, it's been Bee-bee's focus too.  It's hard to remember that she's just a 6 year old, but a 6 year old who understands what it's like to work hard, to reach limits, and still demand more.  With Cha-cha's diagnosis and therapies, she's seen someone younger than herself defy what doctors have suggested.  It's a lesson that can not be replicated in any classroom or told by any book.  I hope she always remembers this. :)

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