How do I sum up and explain what it's been like in our House the past year. Some people have asked questions, some don't know what to say, and some are still in denial. It all started when Zoey was around 12 months old. She stopped answering to her name, even when we yelled it as loud as possible, sometimes with the 3 of us yelling "ZOEY."
She also stopped making eye contact...I used to light up when I'd call her name and she'd turn to look at me with her big beautiful smile. She started pulling away from us, not wanting to be picked up or held. I couldn't just walk over to my baby and hug and kiss her like I had done many times in the past.
Zoey isn't my first child, she has a sister 16 months older than her. Yes, I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old...toddlers, gotta love em!! I also went to school for Early Childhood Education. I've been around children my whole life. I knew that Zoey was not hitting milestones and her speech was delayed. My brain knew what my heart didn't want to know. At her 18 month check up, I mentioned it to her Pediatrician. I watched Zoey's Doctor call out her name multiple times in different tones, and my child didn't flinch!
What followed next were 2 hearing tests with an ENT and Audiologist, hearing was fine both times. It was at that point I heard "You should have a Speech Evaluation done." Okay!
The Early Intervention team came to our house, a physical therapist and an early education specialist. I sat down on the floor with these 2 women and Zoey, while my husband occupied our 4 year old. I was asked many questions and I sat there as they tried to involve Zoey in play and imitation, and watched as they tried to get her to make eye contact and engage with them. After the 3 hour eval was done, I sat there impatiently waiting for what they had to say to me about my baby! They talked about fine motor, gross motor, but that's not what I was on the edge of my seat about...yes she was delayed a bit in both fine motor and gross motor, more so her fine motor skills.
I waited and watched as this professional sat on my floor and looked at her paper reading what she had evaluated from being with my child "she is a beautiful happy girl" and then I heard a lot of things that I tuned out, because I could feel it in my gut, my heart, and I could see it written on this woman's face...then the words came out..."she has the communication skills of a 6 to 8 month old" and Zoey was 19 months old at that time!
I was sitting at the edge of my couch looking down at this beautiful baby girl and I could feel my heart drop from my chest as I cried. Not just teary eyed cries you get when you watch a sad movie, but really big tears that I could feel dropping from my eyes like rain, making my face and shirt wet. I looked at the woman as I'm crying and I said "I'm so sorry...I know that must have been really hard to tell me, I'm sorry, so sorry." I got up and walked to get a tissue for my face and I heard her whisper to the other therapist "that was really hard" and she was told "yes, but you did great."
You see no one wants to give or get news like that!
I got in the phone calling number after number trying to get an appointment for this diagnosis that I was strongly urged to get.