Today was Katie’s speech pathologist appointment and I would love to say it went well but unfortunately sometimes that isn’t the case. The speech pathologist spent an hour with her and determined that she is developmental wise 9 months when it comes to speech. It felt like a kick to the gut and I was really upset about it but my mother in law said something that is very true and I’m going to post what she said in an email to me and my husband. So to all the preemie parents out there, I think this will hold true for you as well.
Please don’t let the speech therapist’s assessment get you down about Katie. I know it was hard to hear. But for one thing, it is an educated guess. The therapist is basing this on what she observed in one hour of knowing Katie. But more importantly, if we assume Katie is at the 9 month level, it is just a statement of where she is at this time but not indicative of how far she will go. The therapist did not say Katie won’t improve. Yes, the general “rule” is that a preemie will catch up by age two to others her age but very very few have gone through what Katie has gone through. Maybe Katie won’t catch up until she is 5. If any doctor or therapist ever tries to give you a negative prognosis about how far she will progress, don’t listen.
I feel very positive about Katie. She shows an interest in things and watches us closely. Katie certainly watches me intently when I sing to her. I think she might be thinking “oh, please stop” but my point is that she is paying attention. As I told Sam, you should think of Katie as you would a stroke patient….she just needs more help to get to where she needs to go. A hard task but not impossible.
You are doing a great job…keep it up. She has improved so much in the last month. Keep talking, reading, playing, singing to her…all the things one does with every baby but a little more intense. At this time, she can’t do it on her own but needs to be shown.
So accept where she is right now but keep your focus on where she is going.
Much love, Mom
I hope these words comfort you as well as it comforted us because sometimes this just plain old sucks.