way back when I did a post about how we had received some discouraging and tough news and how my Bible verse to focus on for the next two weeks was about relying on God? And I didn't share at all what that news was. Well, I didn't mean to keep you all in suspense for two months but we finally have some answers and now I can share what was going on.
As you may have suspected, from my monthly letters to Rachel, she doesn't talk a lot. Sam was a super-early talker (he said, "Hi!" consistently at five months and never looked back) so we knew not to compare Rachel to Sam. However, we didn't know what "normal speech" for a child her age was. Finally, after some gut instincts that she wasn't progressing as she should be, we contacted the publicly funded therapy program (from here on in known as "free therapy") and explained our situation. They said it sounded like she needed to be assessed and put her on their assessment waiting list. It was six months long.
After talking with some friends, they encouraged us to use our insurance coverage (yay for benefits!) and get her assessed through a private therapy place. We did that, and the news I was talking about in that original post was that Rachel was assessed with a 12-15 month level of speech. And she was six weeks away from being two. So we were not surprised, but we were discouraged.
Then we had two options -- wait for free therapy or pursue private therapy, of which our insurance covers three sessions and the assessment. We ran around with the public therapy option for about a month. We got her hearing tested (which is fine) and waited. And waited. And waited. They still haven't gotten back to me and it's been five phone calls and over two months. And we're still waiting to hear if she qualifies for any of the free therapy whatsoever.
So we decided to pursue private therapy, even though the vast majority is going to be paid for by us. I was frustrated that Sam got to learn to talk for free, as do most kids, and that we are paying a significant amount of money for Rachel to achieve the same skill. And the free therapy is there, probably, if we're willing to wait. But everyone knows that the earlier the intervention the better. (And I realize there are children with much bigger therapy needs and that we are lucky with this relatively minor issue.)
However, Rachel has now had four therapy sessions and I am thrilled that she is showing a vast improvement. She is starting to say a lot more two word phrases and some of her speech issues are being worked out as we're made aware of them. Both Dave and I feel peace about the decision we've made and Rachel is having one speech therapy lesson a week for the entire summer. And then we will see where the road takes us. I don't know where Rachel is headed, but I am still trusting that God already knows our path. And I have faith it is going to be a very conversational one. After all, this past week, Rachel learned the word, "Why?"