This Monday, I spent half the day with Violet at the paedaudiological clinic to have her evaluated for a number of issues that both we as parents and the kindergarten teacher have noticed. She has issues to react to verbal instructions or auditive cues, has a hard time to concentrate on story-only books and oftentimes seems to not be able to grasp the story.
We started early, at 8:15, and after signing in at the clinic, the speech therapist first tested her general hearing to rule out primary physical issues. She did great in those tests and her hearing proved to be perfect.
On we went to a row of tests to check her active and passive language skills. Taken into consideration that bilingual kids are oftentimes a little behind in that area at her age, she also did well on the tests regarding her active vocabulary.
But just like at home and in kindergarten, her issues started with the tests to determine her language comprehension skills. She had issues following more complex instructions. Towards the end of the testing, we had to take another break as Violet had increasingly problems to concentrate, but what else to expect of a 4-year old? She did great participating and was simply so very sweet.
After lunch, the speech therapist discussed the preliminary results with us, even though at this point, she didn't tell me anything we didn't know already. She recommended to make an appointment with her pediatrician to arrange speech therapy for her as soon as possible in order to start working on her problems. At this point, however, she is still too young to diagnose a potential concentration or attention deficite disorder. Physically, she's luckily completely healthy, even though the muscle tone in her cheeks seems to be a little low, which would explain her eating with her mouth open or have her tongue out a little bit when she is in her thoughts.
Yesterday, we received the official report, and reading through it, my heart about broke for our poor little girl. I admit, we are frustrated with her a lot, having to repeat ourselves over and over again with sometimes even very simple instructions. Mealtimes sometimes are challenging when we need to remind Violet over and over again to eat with her mouth closed, or to keep her tongue in her mouth. I know her as such a happy girl, who must have developed these great coping skills to manage her life despite her challenges, which makes me want to cry. She's such a strong girl, even though she appears so slight and confused sometimes.
Today, we made an appointment at the pediatrician for her, to arrange a regular speech therapy for her as soon as possible. And we got an appointment for an initial evaluation for early intervention therapy that already helped Lily so much over the last two years. Starting September, she hopefully will receive additional support in strengthening her concentration and fine motor skills along with heavily focussing on her language comprehension. Even though I know that her progress will be slower this time, I try to remember the moment she put on her glasses for the first time and could actually see the world around her clearly. I know that with the proper support by professionals, some day soon she will be able to enjoy being read a story without pictures and be able to understand instructions the first time (and probably decide to ignore them just the same).
I will keep you all updated on Violet's progress and our journey to support her overcoming her limits and reach the potential I know is in her.