January 3, 2011

New beginnings

          Happy 2011 to you! As we start out this new year, we are excited about a new beginning for SB. Tomorrow, she will begin attending a special preschool designed for children with speech issues. There, she will have the opportunity to attend group and individual speech therapy three days a week.
          We put SB in a preschool program several months ago for three reasons. We wanted her to have socialization opportunities, hoped the exposure to other children would help her language development, and felt she was ready for a formal learning environment.
          As far as language development goes, we now know her issues are far more complicated than simply being a "late talker." Preschool is not going to help with that. Speech therapy will, and we had her there twice a week in addition to school.
          SB has loved going to school. She had a blast there. She made friends and looked forward to going. So we were excited when we discovered an opportunity to balance her love of socializing and learning with her need for speech therapy. She loved the new facility and its staff when we visited. We'll see how her first week goes.
          The hardest part for me has been the fact that placing SB in this new environment means parting ways with her first speech therapist. And I have been very emotional about it. In actuality I barely know this woman, but I feel such a special bond with her.
          She was the first person to validate my own instincts about my daughter's language development. And she was able to identify the cause of SB speech issues, which is a huge step on the path to her success. Furthermore, Miss Natalie is just awesome, and SB adores her. They worked very well together.
          It took everything I had not to bawl my eyes out at SB's last appointment. I hope we can stay in touch with Miss Natalie to keep her up to date on SB's progress. She helped us lay a critical foundation for SB, for which I will forever be grateful.
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