I know that is part of our job description to worry as moms. As soon as we have our children, before they have hardly finished their first cry we are already worried. Do they look healthy? Do they have all their fingers and toes? To be honest, it starts before that, when they are growing inside of us. What should I eat? Is this safe? Should I exercise or not? We can pretty much drive ourselves crazy wondering and worrying over our children.
Recently, as in the past eight or nine months, this little lady has been at the top of my Mommy worrying list. You can hardly tell from the picture. The sweet curls, the silly smile and laugh, and those piercing blue eyes. They don’t give any strong clues to what we have been experiencing at home with Gracie. I know I wrote recently about her rocking in her bed. She rocks to fall asleep, she rocks in her sleep, and she rocks when she wakes up. It is so hard to watch. It is gut wrenching to walk pass the monitor night after night and see her on all fours in her crib rocking endlessly back and forth. Sometimes it is quiet, sometimes she is fussing, and sometimes she full on cries while she is doing it. We have video taped it, and showed it to the pediatrician. At first he said that lots of children do rhythmic movement to fall asleep. That this behavior could continue until she is 2 or 3. But, now she does different things during the day. She crawls across the floor back and forth and rubs her head along the carpet. She seems to need/crave a lot of sensory input. I still have a lot to learn about children’s sensory needs, so I am trying to gather as much information to help her with this.
But, to add to our worries Grace really isn’t speaking very much. I thought at first I was just comparing her to her amazingly chatty older brother and sister. I kept telling myself, all children are different, she just might need more time, she has older siblings that is why she doesn’t talk much, etc. etc..
We have now reached and passed that big 18 month milestone and still the words are sllllloooowwwwlllyyy coming. She may learn a new word for a week, and then it is forgotten. She may use a word for two months, and then it disappears. To communicate Gracie mostly signs for things she wants or needs. Currently she actively says Dada and this (when she wants you to label an object). She just learned ‘down’ and ‘braaa braaa’ is her new little term for Bradley. She has had and lost Hershey, night night, out, shoe, eyes, and a lot more. But, mostly she signs…more, please, all done, drink, music, and most of the common signs.
All of the sudden all of this concern and worry has come to a boiling point. In the past two weeks we have had a hearing screening at the university, a formal speech evaluation, a visit from Early Intervention, and tomorrow we are taking her for an eye exam. I am pretty much in mommy overload. She qualified for speech therapy, so we will be beginning that next week. We will also find out by next week if she will qualify for services with Early Intervention. The representative felt that she would definitely qualify for some speech and occupational therapy services to help her with these sensory needs.
The speech therapist gave us some wonderful things to work with her on and we are trying to quickly implement them to help her asap!
Right now I am just treading water, hoping that we will get the right people to help Gracie through this bump in the road. If I only had the crystal ball that said it was all going to be alright….