Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Paxton & Speech

So last week, we had Paxton's annual IEP meeting with his pre-K teacher, his occupational therapist and his speech therapist. We were expecting things to stay pretty much the same, but they aren't going to! 

As the speech therapist went over the goals Paxton had met since December, it started sounding like there wasn't much left for him to do. We assumed she would set him some new goals for the coming year, but we're totally shocked when she said that he had met the objectives, had mastered all the milestones for his age and was even ahead of the curve on some of his L blends. WHAT??! We had never heard the word "ahead" to describe Paxton's speech, so we were completely blown away. I might have teared up right there in the conference room. So Paxton will continue with OT...we all agreed that he's a little behind solely because he doesn't want to do it, not because he can't...but he will no longer have speech. She will continue to monitor him to make sure he doesn't fall behind. 
I just remember how worried we were at his 2-year check-up when all he would say was "dada" with different inflections for everything. His pediatrician advised waiting 6 months, but that's not what my heart was telling me to do, so we pursued speech. I remember the day when he was 2.5 at speech therapy and he called me Mimi (like always) in front of his speech therapist and she asked if that's what he always called me. Then she worked with him on saying "mommy". I was sitting next to him at lunch that same day at Fazoli's and he looked over at me and got a thoughtful look on his face and moved his mouth around a little and said "mommy" perfectly and just got the biggest smile on his face. 

I remember his first IEP meeting in Durham when they used the words "special needs" to describe him and I cried on the way home. I pictured a life of kids making fun of him because of the way he talked, and him struggling through school. I remember feeling so frustrated for several months as it seemed like he wasn't making progress, but hen watching videos of him talking from a few weeks before and realize that he was improving. 

I remember being nervous as he started pre-K and the speech therapist left, a temp came and then a third replacement took her spot and Paxton never talked about her. I couldn't even get him to tell me her name. Every Wednesday he would come home talking about Miss Chris and OT and how much fun they had, but radio silence on the speech front. 

I am just so proud of my little perfectionist. Now that he has mastered his L's, he usually pauses before he says a word with an L and says it so carefully so he's sure he's doing it right. He has worked really hard (and we have too) and he is just so proud of himself when he says things the right way. I'm so happy that we're here now. I didn't know this milestone would be here so soon, but I'm so relieved and happy and proud. 

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