|Alex and Jake|
|Max and Miriam|
So what did this all mean? How can we possibly have more to handle at this point? We were barely coping as it was. What kind of challenge are we being faced with now and what is going on here? The real question that was nagging at me for months on end was: is this a pure vanilla speech delay, or are there other flavors in store? Could the twins also be on the autism spectrum? They had great eye contact and would always turn when called their name (a common trait in detecting autism when this is a deficit). They were only fifteen months old and being shlepped to speech therapy twice, a week by a mom that was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. This was of course on top of all of Jake's therapies. It was too early to tell. It was going to be a wait and see sort of outcome.
For several weeks, the speech therapist could barely get the twins to say the word "go." My heart was very heavy. I didn't know what to think. All I knew was that we have got to move forward with our lives, no matter how slowly. Just keep moving. Just keep going. I have always heard that a second child starts to speak earlier then the first child; they have the firstborn as a talkative role model. I also heard that it's not uncommon with twins to have developmental issues and to just be a little late in reaching milestones. This kept Alex and me hopeful that it was just a speech delay; as they develop and grow, they will catch up.
Meanwhile, the good news with Jake is that he was partially verbal. He could mimic sounds and repeat some words. This was a very positive indicator that he could learn to speak more functionally. We couldn't know if his speech would ever be up to "normal" standards, but we knew that this was a very good thing. It took me a year and a half of daily repetition to teach him to say "I want" or "give me," when he whined for something that he wanted. Good thing our family has lots of stubborn disposition.
To put things into perspective, I was driving close to two hours a day in San Antonio for everyone's programs/therapies that last half a year. I was ready for a break. Being in Montgomery meant that the twins would now enroll in the child development center on the base, (CDC) five days a week. Jake's services were all going to be ten minutes away, with ABA therapy (Applied Behavioral Analysis) taking place at our home. As I did in San Antonio, I started teaching music at a local university several times a week, and found a bunch of piano students right at our east side neighborhood.
Life was starting to look up. The twins received once a week speech therapy, and withing a few months of being at the base CDC, we saw them blossom before our very eyes. It turns out that some of the best therapy for them was to be in a military class with lots of other little kids. We couldn't have been any happier. They got better at following directions, became more independent and really, just came into their own; two cute little munchkins with funny things to say.
A few months ago Miriam, who was phased down to speech therapy once a month, completely phased out of it. Just last week, Max went from the once a month to completely phasing out of therapy as well. They are both going to get reevaluated withing a few months to make sure that they keep on naturally progressing. Some of the light articulation issues that they still have is age appropriate and will naturally go away. We made it through this hurdle. We can breath a little lighter. It is so important to not lose hope and never give up. Keep the family unit functioning and keep moving forward, no matter how little or how slow. At least we are not moving back.
Visit my blog:
Lily and the Roses ~
Creativity with Autism, Twins and Military Adventures
Visit my other blog:
This is where I display
my artwork, music compositions and travel photos
Stop by and share posts with your friends