Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 27

Day 27: Noah's SPEECH!
That's not just any turkey #3 pictured above......that's Noah, and when he was a toddler, I was told he may not ever be able to talk!!!! On days like the one above, I was more than thankful that my boy can talk, and he did a mighty fine job of it!!! This may take a while for you to read, and if you are me, a big box of tissues......but read on about God's goodness.
      When Noah was 1, he could say Mama, Dada, juice, cup, bite, cow, pig, dog, plane, you know, about 10-15 baby gibberish words. By 2 years old, he couldn't say any of them. In between there, he had a bunch of the regular immunizations. I don't know if it's related or not, maybe a coincidence. He's had all shots since then. Anyway, Dr. thought he needed to go to a neurologist because he wasn't talking, wouldn't always answer to his name, would scream when someone approached him, say in a store, like "hey little guy, what pretty eyes!" he'd scream as loud as possible and not look at them. He would get bored easily with his surroundings, which was a sign of a “high-functioning child.” He also lined up everything he played with, organized by shape and color, and had lots of "autistic spectrum tendencies".
    Dr thought maybe asperger’s syndrome (a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to verbalize and communicate with others). First, we took him to have his ears checked (to rule out hearing loss) and believe it or not, we were at the audiologist's for 1 ½ hours, and Noah wouldn't be still or quiet enough to do the test!!! Let me say this, WE SOUGHT GOD ON EVERY CHOICE WE WERE MAKING WITH NOAH! We gave Noah to the Lord, and didn't want to do something that wasn't of Him, or in His will. So, we left. I had asked for the confirmation that if it was God’s will, show me. There was no way I’d know on my own. Then, someone told mom at Dr. Craine's about the school system, and an early start type program they offer. I thought that sounded like it was worth a shot. We try to stay away from doctors as much as possible, and if the neurologist suggested therapy, none of it would be covered by insurance, plus it'd be in Mobile or Pensacola. So, I decided to try the school thing, and if that didn't work, or if they suggest neurologist, we'd go. Otherwise, we didn't feel lead to go to neurologist.
            So, I met with about 7 people from the school at the Loxley office (including the school nurse, and a student nurse!) and they felt he qualified for further evaluation, and that they would start by doing a hearing test. We got there to the hearing test about a month later (Noah had just turned 3.) and he sat there good as gold, did the test, and had 100% hearing in both ears! So, it wasn't that. He started in January at speech in Summerdale, his paperwork, which I still have, says "totally nonverbal at this time, can make around 7 sounds of the English language. He grunts, and speaks broken gibberish!" Speech teacher said he really needed something more to help him, even before the further evaluation (which took about 6 months to get!), so in March of that year he went to Robertsdale elem. special ed preschool (which is at the elementary school, Summerdale doesn't offer it, only bigger schools have the program).
            I called the Dr., and told him all of this and Dr. Eberly said "well, good luck with that because without proper medical care, he may never get better, he'll probably never talk" and I told him thanks!
            Noah did great at the preschool program. On the first day I took him, I told God I needed physical confirmation, if this was God's will, I wanted Noah to tell me bye, and blow me a kiss, and I told God if it wasn't His will, to let Noah cry so hard, the teacher would call me to come get him. When I left Noah, he waved, said "bye bye mama" (he hadn't done that in forever!) and he blew me a kiss!!!!!
            I cried all the way down the hall, all the way to the parking lot, all the way home, and all the way until 11:15, pickup time!!! GOD IS SO GOOD! HIS PROMISES ARE YES AND AMEN!
            Noah went 2 days a week, half days. That summer they evaluated him, a special ed teacher, and a psychometrist maybe, it's in the papers, I just can't remember who did it right now. They diagnosed him with having a developmental delay. He went the preschool that year again, 3 days a week, ½ day. He turned 4 that year. Within months, he was talking. He would substitute certain sounds where he couldn't say one, like "frog" was "stop", "Noah" was "Waddy", we still don't know why, but with speech it's been corrected. He went that whole year.
            Then in 2009, he went again, 3 days a week, full days. They started doing something called "inclusion" where they'd put him in the regular K4 class for about an hour a day. They said it was good for him to be around “typical peers.” I asked that teacher how he was while with the “typical children,” and she said, "Honey, I don't know he's any different!!!" After years of special ed, she didn't know he was different!!!
            He turned 5 that year in October, and in January 2010, he no longer qualified for special ed services.
     He now has articulation delay, not developmental delay. So, he quit preschool, and went to speech at Summerdale again (different teacher now! she's amazing!) and did that twice a week. August of 2009, Noah had 52 articulation errors, in September 2010, he had 13!!!!! PRAISE GOD! In May 2011, he was down to 4 errors! It’s almost over!!!
      He started regular ed kindergarten August 2010, his teacher did not believe me when I told her he was special ed, she read his paperwork, and still didn't believe it! He's so normal now! we had his yearly meeting in January 2011, and his speech teacher noted all of his progress. She's amazed at how fast he's caught on to new sounds. And, his K teacher (Maria Parsons, her hubby is a pastor in R'dale at Family Harvest Church, and her little boy Caleb went to be with the lord after battling cancer in 09) told me that Noah made the highest score in her class on the dibels test, which is a statewide test giving by the reading coach. And he continues to amaze me everyday with his learning progress. At the end of his Kindergarten year, Noah had an IQ test, and I sat across a table from a psychometrist, a speech teacher, and his K teacher, and I was told that Noah is in the upper average range overall for his IQ. He scored above average in one area, and close to it in others. We always knew he was smart, but these ladies shared with me that Albert Einstein didn’t talk at all until he was 5 years old, because he was just too smart, his mind moved so fast, that his development was delayed!!! By the way, we switched pediatricians, he now goes to Dr. Skinner in Fairhope, who is amazing. My cousin is a RN at Thomas in the women and children's dept, and she recommended her. Also, while I would never blame Noah, but one reason I didn't have another child sooner was because of this battle. But it's all God's timing anyway! I’ll also tell you that God has changed me so much through all of this!
       Hopefully, if you knew me before,  you wouldn't even recognize me anymore! First of all, I have enough faith, that one day, I’m actually going to walk up to a physical mountain and tell it to move, and I’m positive it will. And think of Noah's testimony, when he stands before hundreds in a church, or even behind a camera, and says "Look what the Lord has done!" I'm thankful for the battles we've been through. God took our pain, and pulled us closer to Him with His ways! I would sometimes wonder why Noah had to go through such torment. But, it's for such a time as this! It was hard when he would want something, and I couldn't guess what it was, and he couldn't tell me! Try going a day without talking, and see if you could do it! He'd start screaming, and we'd go to the fridge, and I’d have to point at everything until I could get it right, whatever he wanted. He couldn't say, milk or juice or food or water. He couldn't say he was hot or cold. He couldn't tell me where he didn't feel good at. Now, he won't stop talking!!! hahaha. He used to not play with others, he'd be in a room full of children, like at the church nursery, and would go to the corner by himself, now every weekend he wants to have a friend over. Oh, and the reason he'd scream when folks talked to him, is because he was self-conscious. He couldn't say hey back to them. Anyway, all is well now! He loves speech, does great at school, and drives me nuts at home, like a typical child!!!! 
    And I really can’t believe I didn’t trust God enough without the physical confirmations, but you know, my Father cared enough about such details, He looked out for me, just like I would for my children. Ain’t God good?!? Let me tell you, all the time He is so good, nothing could separate me from His love, and He will never ever forget His promises to us!     
             I’m so thankful that we have done well enough the first time with our child, of course with God’s leading, that's He's given us another blessing to raise for His glory!!!
            I’m sure this whole experience will touch so many lives. There is never a way I could forget all that God did for us over these years. This is a shortened, compacted version, of a very long story and battle. We didn’t do much talking about it while it was going on, we had no reason to give the devil any room to boast. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue...” We wanted to only speak life over our son. We would not settle for less. Was it tip-toe through the tulips?Absolutely not. When the Lord be a blessin’, the devil be a messin’! We are still constantly attacked. But let me finish with this, “Greater is HE in me!”
I wrote all of that when Noah was in Kindergarten, when a friend of mine asked me why Noah had speech troubles. Some of it has local locations and people in it, only because the person who asked me knows all of them. I will add to it as he grows. My boy is a non-stop talking 2nd grader, and for that, I am thankful!!!

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