Friday, July 17, 2009

Speak no..., hear no...

We've had a "village" helping us raise the twins. A village in terms of people looking out for Collin and Oliver's developmental progress. Ohio has a wonderful program called Help Me Grow. The program is targeted at keeping children birth through three on target with developmental milestones. Through them we have had occupational therapy and physical therapy starting when the twins were four months old. We added speech therapy to the mix this last January as well. We have an early intervention specialist, a Help Me Grow coordinator and our therapists, who are all part of our "village." Thanks to Jen, I found out about this program when I was worrying about the twins very early not meeting developmental goals and feel very lucky to have them in our village.

We've come a long way since the beginning. The twins are no longer in physical therapy - they are running! You would never even know they were delayed. We are still in occupational therapy for some mild sensory issues. But our biggest challenge right now is talking. Well, talking and focusing actually. Collin isn't talking and Oliver isn't focusing. Speak no..., hear no...

Collin says about ten words and signs a few too. He spends a lot of time making noises, though not babbling per se nor sounds running the gamut. He does make noises, mostly the same ones. That said, he understands you perfectly and follows directions wonderfully. Though we haven't had a hearing test yet (other than at birth), he shows no indication that there is an issue as he hears the slightest of sounds and again knows exactly what we are saying. They feel that he knows on a subconscious level that it is very hard to form words and that is why he is so delayed. None of these people (and I just met with the EI specialist and coordinator this week as well as speech today) feel that there are any warning signs for anything other than delay.

Oliver, on the other hand, has always had the most incredibly beautiful jargon all his own, starting at a very young age. With inflection even, as if he was asking questions or having a normal conversation with you. He would even repeat the same string of sounds if he didn't think you understood and let me tell you some are very complex strings of sounds. It has always been very conversational babbling. In the last couple months he has added real words to his speech. Lots and lots of real words. Even six to seven word sentences that we can understand! All this, still mixed with his own jargon. But he is talking fabulously and able to tell us needs among thousands of other things. Even though later than standard, his speech now is very impressive (with the long clear sentences), so we are told. Yet, he lacks focus. He will not turn when you call his name 70% of the time, yet he repeats us clearly and uses the words again appropriately (so he is hearing fine). If you ask him to do something or ask him a question, unlike Collin, he ignores you. He is off doing his own thing instead. He is extremely high energy and I wonder if his little mind is just constantly turning and he just doesn't care to listen to us when he has that much on his mind. He does, sometimes, engage with us.

It is crazy to us that they are just such opposites in every way. Our EI specialist said that they normally don't see such opposites in twins, but it's nothing to be concerned about. Nor are their delays in terms of bigger issues. However, starting this week we are now doing speech every week as it was recommended by all.

Though I know, just like the rolling / sitting / crawling / scooting / walking / running and some occupational issues they have already overcome, this will be a distant memory at some point. And soon enough Collin will be talking our ear off about anything and everything and Oliver will be intently listening to us and debating with us, at times I am still frustrated. Well, frustrated and worried. Though I have asked our "village" (who all have years and years of experience, mostly with children who have the 'big' issues) a billion times if they see anything at all wrong in these behaviors that would mean some greater issue and they say "not at this time," I still worry. I think it's natural in a way to worry, I worried before all my kids were born. That's being a parent I suppose. I also think some of it is just seeing all that is happening today and wondering why all these outbreaks? Sure, maybe it was present before and we just didn't have the research to know, but I think that is only part of it. I really believe there is more to it than that. One of the reasons I am slowly moving this family to a greener life. But in the end, who really knows?

So, I sit here and wonder why one of my almost two year old babies can't seem to form many words, but understands and reacts to everything we say and why the other can talk a dissertation but yet does not listen and focus to what we are saying most of the time when he is caught up in his own world. And though I know just how blessed and lucky we are, trust me I count those blessings every minute of the day, that all we have right now are mild sensory issues and speech and focus delays... I still worry... like all mothers...

1 comment:

Karen said...

Totally understand all your worries! And though I am certainly no expert, they're each developing in their own way and will be fine. Some of it has to personality, not a developmental issue. And they're BOYS. :)

By the way, EI and Help Me Grow are both programs that my Agency oversee, fund and operate. I never really put it together that your boys are receiving services from my Agency! I think that's cool! It makes me feel good somehow that I am helping to oversee the funds that go into these programs. I am a part of your "village" (in an extended sort of way)and never even knew it! :) And just so you know, these programs are not ones that are at risk of being cut at this point. Our Director is the parent of a adult son with severe MR and he knows these services are critical, regardless of the extent of disability in the children. We will be cutting at the administrative level instead (as it should be).

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