Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Critical Issue

Amy and I are preparing for an appeal this week to convince our
insurance company to provide coverage for speech therapy resources for
Jada. She tests well because she has memorized the questions, has
reasonably appropriate vocabulary in terms of nouns and verbs, and has
known her letters and numbers since she was 2, so by the book, it's
hard to see how Jada needs help.

But oh she does. She can't have conversations as much as recite
previously memorized dialogues. When she asks a question and doesn't
get the answer she wants, she gets upset; not because she's spoiled,
but because she doesn't get that the same question can yield a
different answer at different times. And up until recently, she
didn't even know that when someone says "hi" to you, you're supposed
to look at them and respond back; a lot of parents of classmates of
hers probably think she's stuck-up for blowing off their children when
they're being nice to Jada and saying hello.

Amy and I are trying to document all of the examples of her speech
deficiencies so we can convince the testifiees of what they can't see
on the standardized tests. I have to admit that in my pursuit to
catch all of these examples, I have to be careful not to become
critical or impatient with Jada. It can be very frustrating to
communicate with her, but I needn't pile onto her problems by making
her feel like she is a nuisance or somehow not accepted by me. I can
already see how she withdraws when faced with a task she can't do, so
I need to remember to reassure and not heap additional disappointment
on her.

Hopefully, whether through this avenue or another, we can get Jada
some extra help in learning better communications. Seven plus months
of severe sensory deprivation can impair a child's development, but it
needn't doom her to a lifetime of deficiency. But we can't do this
alone, and so are hoping for professional help to shore up where we
are falling short in knowing what to do for Jada.

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