As it goes with raising a child, there are days where they just tug at your heart. Wether they are happy tugs or heart breaking tugs, children just have their way of grabbing a hold of it and tugging and tugging hard. They are so good at doing this, I’m sure there are days where it happens several times. There have been a lot of tugs recently. Some very happy and some heart breaking. I find the heart breaking ones tough right now because it usually has to do with Courtney being unhappy about something, her unable to tell me and me unable to help her.
As I’ve said before, Courtney is non-verbal. She also has very poor receptive language. So not only is she unable to express her wants and needs but she is unable to truly process nor understand language. So the last three nights when putting her to bed she has suddenly starting crying inconsolably. Yes she’s a toddler and this can happen with all toddlers. And I also understand that when a toddler does this, they sometimes are unable to tell you why they are crying even though they have the words. But with most toddlers, once you go through all your bag of tricks, you may eventually be able to find out what is wrong or maybe even just convince them to stop crying. With Courtney and other children that have significant language delays on top of social/emotional delays, it takes so much more. You can’t help but feel completely helpless. The past 3 nights I have ended up choosing just to hold her and let her cry herself to sleep. It is so heart tugging to watch the tears flow. Courtney hates her face getting wet so as the tears flow she is wiping her face like crazy. I find myself trying to wipe those tears as fast as they fall just so the tears don’t upset her more.
We are in the process of hiring a nanny for the coming school year. The nanny we interviewed today asked the question that many parents asked me as a teacher about their child, “so is she going to eventually be able to speak?”. Because of my back ground, I know that question can’t be answered. It’s too early to say she won’t every talk, but I can’t confidently say she will.
We hope in the coming year to find a way to help her communicate with us whether it be with pictures, sign language, or a device. Thanks to technology advancement, there are a great deal of options! We’ve also been given the opportunity to have her part of a study. Tomorrow her and I are headed to Northwestern University where we will learn about a study that her and I can be a part of. It’s a study that will look at the effects two different strategies have on language development. If we choose to follow through with this, for two months a therapist will be coming to work with her.
So yes, watching her communication breakdowns are very heartbreaking, but I also have to be thankful that there opportunities out there for her to hopefully give her the tools that she needs to let us know her wants and needs.