So imagine the ray of sunshine I was to live with. My days seem clouded and blurry during this time. I felt numb and moved around slowly. I felt like I had a learning difference. I was in a deficit as to how to handle our situation. Thank God for the internet! I don’t know what I would do without it.
I spent any spare time Googling subjects such as: auditory processing, visual processing, learning aides, learning games, etc. I know, I was a real party animal. My heart was crushed, there had to be some hope for our boy.
And one day, it happened. I took Jonathon to his weekly speech therapy appointment and brought younger brother, Josh. Jonathon was seven at this point, Josh was two. Upon meeting Josh, the therapist was drawn in by Josh’s contagious laugh and smile. He jumped repetitively as he engaged with the therapist.
Then time stopped. The therapist looked at me and says, “Mom, he needs therapy too. What are you waiting for? He has severe articulation and communication difficulties.” I froze. Surely there were bacon strips forming in my undies. I had not thought of Josh. He was my winner. He effortlessly floated with our dramatic home life. He was my “Easy third child.”
“Oh?” I responded, I was dazed and confused, just like the movie. The therapist prodded, “How does he communicate at home? How do you know what he wants?” I stared. I didn’t really know. He just was easy. He accommodated. I did remember he had been frequently tantruming a lot more often. And then the conversation happened. Right there epiphany visited my life.
The therapist said, “There is no need to panic. This path with Jonathon is not a sprint or a marathon, this is a life journey. I know he did not do well at the Center, there are plenty of options.” That is all I can remember. I know Linda-Bell-Mood centers were talked about. Other than that, I am not sure. But hearing there was no quick fix, no hurry was a great beacon to me.
I did stutter something about not being able to afford Josh’s therapy, we were still trying to recover from the hole we had gotten in from Jonathon’s therapy. I went from being a mess to a complete wreck. What was I to do.
Then a smattering of hope. The therapist referred us to a glorious program called Help Me Grow. (You might see if the same program is available to you for ages three and under). She said Josh was the perfect candidate for early intervention. Oh goodie, that was a glimmer of hope, at least. I did know from the books, early intervention was best. Maybe Josh wasn’t destined to such a hard path?
So therapy started. It was a therapy session, like every other therapy session, except… Except, the therapist had filled a tote with beans. The session was supposed to be fun. Jonathon was to pull out small animals and say what classification they belonged in: jungle, water, or farm. Big fun, I thought!
Except Jonathon looked sad. He liked predictable therapies, doing the same safe thing every single time. I saw he was about to cry. Josh looked on excited, he wanted to have at those beans! The therapist encouraged Jonathon, “Come on! Thrust your hands in there. Make a mess. Pull out some animals.”
Jonathon methodically would gently put one hand in the beans, a little at a time. He could not thrust his hand in. The therapist urged, “Both hands Jonathon! Pull out animals with both hands!” Jonathon kept methodically pulling out an animal safely, neatly, slowly.
After many minutes of not very much action, the therapist called, “Mom, need to talk to you in the hallway.” I thought, “What now?”
As I looked at my only source of help at the time, I was startled. The therapist lacked color, her brow was tense – something was very, very wrong. “You need to contact a neurologist right away. I am concerned he is having seizures and/or strokes. I am concerned the stareing is a seizure, maybe a slight stroke. Call neurology right away. I will get him into OT at our center. Things are not right.”
And so I left that day, wondering if I had done anything right. Josh needed speech therapy and I didn’t notice. Jonathon might be having strokes or even seizures and I had no idea. Jonathon need OT, I wasn’t sure what that was. I thought from a Dyslexia book called Overcoming Dyslexia, it meant Occupational Therapy, but I wasn’t certain.
What a ride! When we have children, we just never know what we will get. And still there were more fun things to discover on the horizon. Our journey was just getting going and there is still much more road to to “hoe.”
During this time, we also purchased an audiological processing cd-rom called Earobics. It looks like they have a bunch of new, neat products. Jonathon did not particularly enjoy the cd-rom, but during home schooling days, he would use it about once-twice a week. I could immediately tell his audioloigcal processing had made gains.