Change and Frustration and Hope and A New Chapter.

{Change}

This summer as Liam grew in a lot of areas and aged out of the Early Intervention Program, Matt and I gave a lot of thought of where we were a year ago and where we are headed.

There have been so many ups and downs and ins and outs this last year. We started the EIP and despite the long lists for every therapy available, by October Liam was having speech, occupational and developmental therapies every week. Then we met a horse over Christmas break and 2 months later found a spot in the Hippotherapy rotation for another speech session added to our weekly routine.

And in the months to follow:

Autism Diagnosis.

Fairview School Evaluation.

Fine motor skills acquired.

Pointing, Listening, Receptive Listening. (Check, Check, Check)

Parent directed: Hi-fives for family, hugs for grandparents, hugs for friends.

Social Cues acquired.

Non-Parent directed: Hi-fives for family, hugs for grandparents, hugs for friends. {BAM!}

Sunday School and YMCA participation.

Sitting for 45 minutes in therapy without the use of a chair or prop to keep him centered!!!!!!!!!

Our Buddy has learned so much since last September. His bravery and courage to work against what he can’t even comprehend as set-backs is astounding. He has come so far and we have to keep this in mind.

Especially because we have so far to go.

{Frustration}

Apraxia, aka. &*^%.

Apraxia is the new curse word at our house. I can’t begin to explain the difficulty and overwhelming weight of trying to teach Liam to speak. He has amazing speech therapists that teach us how to work with him on a weekly basis, but this is not homework we can complete in a week’s time. We don’t have a time frame. We have drills and hope that if we do it enough, Liam will have words. And we hear words pop up like popcorn, but just like that, they’re gone again.

Patience might as well be a curse word around here as well. We want to hear Liam speak. I mean, it’s not that hard right? He has speech therapy twice a week?!? COME ON. Who isn’t doing their job?? (looking around) Why isn’t this working already??

This is the devil that is apraxia. What takes a typically developing child 10x to imitate and begin using a new word could take a child with apraxia 100x. ONE HUNDRED TIMES.

I’m sure I’ve said MMMMMMMOOOOOORRRREEEEEEE? 16 Billion times. I’m sure.

{Hope}

16 Billion times. Eves. We’ll do it 16 trillion if that’s what it takes. We’ll fly to the moon if that’s what it takes. I will dance on my head in the middle of the city square if that’s what it takes.

Regardless of how heavy hearted we can feel for Liam’s speech progress, our Hope is anchored firmly in God’s promise for Liam:

“I have plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

{New Chapter}

Liam starts school on Wednesday. My baby, My lamb, My monkey-man starts school on Wednesday!!!!

5 days a week Liam will go to school for nearly 3 hours and have really good training in an autism-contained classroom with the city’s best autism focused teacher. He is ready. He is going to grow leaps and bounds.

BUT.

We are scared to drop our non-verbal son off to people we don’t know, on a campus far from home. (it’s only a 10 minute drive that might as well be 6 hours) We are scared that his speech is not progressing the way WE think it should. We are scared. scared. scared.

BUT.

WE HAVE HOPE.

And that my friends, has to be the end of the story: HOPE.

H O P E

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Liam Bear,

You are going to hate school. But mostly you are going to love school. You are going to love driving off with Daddy every morning. You are going to love shaking your new friends hands. You are going to love having your very own locker. You are going to love your teacher, Ms. Sarah. You are going to love snack time with your new lunch box. You are going to love when Mommy and Molly come to pick you up. And you are going to love learning new things.

You are brilliant and courageous and brave and loving and kind and curious and funny. You are going to do great things.

Go get ’em tiger.

Love your Mommy, Daddy and Sister. XO

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