Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I have been having a depressing last couple of days.

Owen's speech therapist recommended I read a book called "A Child With Special Needs"- and at the time I scoffed and thought- "whatever, he doesn't have special needs! He's not special, he just doesn't talk!"

It finally sank in to me that a 2 and a half year old who barely speaks does have special needs.

I know it doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with his intelligence per se, or that he might not eventually learn to talk just as well as anyone else.

It doesn't change how much I love him or how well we communicate when it's just the two of us.

But it does change my perception of how the rest of the world views him, and I guess that's what's been upsetting for me.

I think Paul Collins said it best in Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism, a great book I just read. He said that he simply can't bear the thought of anyone being cruel to his child (his son has autism).

I still have very high expectations for Owen- although he doesn't talk much, he is making connections between words and objects, often very high-level connections- and is capable of logical thought sequences- for example, the other day I told him we'd go to the park as soon as Stewart woke up and we were "ready"- I never said anything about shoes, but he connected the idea of shoes to the concept of being "ready" and came to me pointing at his bare feet. Then he ran and got shoes for me to help put on.

Owen also follows directions well and even our speech therapist has commented on how much receptive language he seems to have.

On the whole, we are very lucky. Many kids with speech delays understand very little of what is being said to them and can often act out so much in frustration that it is impossible to take them anywhere.

So we are definitely lucky and I know I shouldn't feel so worried. After all, Owen is his own person and I honestly wouldn't want him to be anything other than who he is.

I am praying for progress though. Owen is much better than he was before- now he asks to be let down from the dinner table, asks to be picked up, asks to go outside or for "more"- all things he would just gesture or cry for several months ago.

So I am pleased with the progress and hope for more and more as he starts pre-school, hopefully aroud next week. He's going to a language-based pre-school specifically designed to help him talk- all of the teachers have master's degrees in speech pathology or child psychology- there's even a behavioral therapist on staff and a physical therapist for those who need it.

I'll keep you all abreast of his progress.


11 comments:

Adrienne said...

I wish I could say that I know how you feel, but not being a mother I can't. I guess all I can say is hang in there. I do know, with my 3 years teaching experience, that Owen has one of the best things going for him, and that is wonderful parents who care for him deeply and are trying to get him the best help they can instead of ignoring it. (Is that a run-on sentence or what?:-) )I do understand your fear of how other people might perceive him. I have felt tht many times for students in the past. I know I have never met Owen, but I can see from blogs that he is a very loved and cool kid. I think your on the right track staying positive and looking at all of the wonderful things that make Owen, Owen.

Like I said a few blogs back ago, my nephew doesn't talk much either, but I can always see the wheels turning in his head. Someday, I think he'll just start talking. Maybe it will be that way for Owen.

Anyway, this probably looks like babbling, but just know this... if you need anything just let me know. I know I live across the country, but I'm still a good email listener.

Connie said...

That school sounds awesome, its amazing how much the area of speech pathology has progressed in 20 years. Hang in there Sarah, you can always lean on us.

Britt said...

you and owen are very lucky. you have all those wonderful speech pathologist, teachers, and specials schools--plus all your friends and family for support. i think things look very bright for owen! i know sometimes things won't feel that way, but remember--you have all of us to lean on!

Mike said...

Wow. owen is still having problems talking? maybe because his mother is fat he just doesn't want to talk because he is afaid he will call her a fat ass bitch!!!!!!! Or maybe he is just up set that your guys couldn't wait and had to replace his ass with another kid! Or maybe just maybe, he just doesn't want tot talk to YOU!! You take a pick, ever the less Iknow he is one of your favorite 3 guys!!!! BITTER!!!!!!!

Mike said...

P.S. Why am I NOT of your elsewhere?? Oh maybe because I am NOT one of the favorite boys!!! BITTER

Sarah Z said...

Owen is so lucky to have such loving parents, and even more lucky to have parents that are educated and able to seek out the resources out there for him!

Sarah Ford said...

you ARE in my elsewhere. perhaps you didn't look under "art?"

Kyle Ford said...

It's understandable, him not being a true artist and all.

Mike said...

Well my body may be a work of ART!! I perfer to go by artist, for that is what I am! Please take the note!

Sarah Ford said...

i meant that your website, as a whole, is art.

but you're right, i really should reconsider. your work has become stale and predictable.

and you're fat.

Mike said...

My work is hardly stale and predictable. And as for my weight, it is like I said earlier Fat people have feelings!! You don't see me tell you what a bad mom you are, I eman Owen!! HELLO!!!!

;) thats right I went there! I bet you didn't predict that, and it was hardly stale!!! ZZZIINNGGG

*Artist*