"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Parenting is Not for the Faint of Heart

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  A friend reminded me of this today.  Yesterday I had a rough day.  I met with John's IFSP team and things didn't go as planned.  To start with, John's speech therapist wasn't able to make it.  His occupational therapist was there and so was a developmental therapist.  We were also joined by two representatives from the Early Intervention program. 

As the meeting progressed I allowed the Early Intervention representatives to talk me into decreasing John's speech services to once a week even though I knew in my gut that we wanted to keep John at twice a week.  No one had the speech therapist recommendations or goals - so we were working blind and I didn't speak up enough.  I felt as though I didn't have the "magic words" that the other therapists and coordinators had.  As soon as the meeting ended I immediately had reservations about the decision.

I stewed on it for a few hours, called John's speech therapist in the afternoon, and called the Early Intervention office to talk with John's service coordinator.  John's speech therapist was very upset that they would decrease his services after the report she sent to them and was equally upset that they didn't have her paperwork with them for the meeting.  The service coordinator ended up having to come back to the house to pick up some papers so I talked to her in person.  I cried.  I told her that I feared we weren't doing what was best for John...

Bottom line is that we can't do anything about it right now.  That sucks!  But we'll be having another meeting in about a month following John's behavioral assessment and we can revisit his speech therapy needs then.  I know John's therapist is gearing up for a battle and I'm in it to win it too.  With both of us committed to getting John the services he needs - I know we'll be fine.  And, luckily, children are amazingly resilient...so I know John will continue to flourish and grow!

The reality is setting in though - as we continue to see issues with John's speech and we broach the topic of speech disorders - this is not the last one of these meetings I'm going to face.  I may not have the magic words...I probably never will.  And frankly, it's not my job to know the magic words anyway.  But I will have one word - NO.  No, I'm not okay with this.  No, I don't understand why we're doing this.  No, I want to talk to someone else first. 

Parenting isn't for the faint of heart.  You have to be strong for your child - especially when they (literally) don't have a voice at the table.  YES - I'm okay with that!

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