Today has been tough….i had to face the reality that one of my girls is going to need a lot of extra work and attention if she is to begin to speak , eat and move properly. My little brown eyed girl Ruby…
Of course it isn't the end of the world….i know that and i knew this moment was coming because fortunately or unfortunately i have had training in children's development and i knew she wasn't meeting many of the usual milestones…but it's different when your Mum isn't it? You want to believe your children are still perfect…that you are just reading too much into things. But i wasn't. Ruby needs extra support to grow and learn skills her sister already achieves easily.
Today the twins attended a clinic at the local child and family health service for their 18 month old review (although they are now 21 months…waiting lists!). It was attended by the speech therapist and phyisotherapist and the girls basically played and interacted with us in a large room set up with equipment and toys. It was a very thorough screening and i was really impressed.
The outcome is that Tara is meeting her milestones well across all the developmental areas…..Ruby is not. Ruby still only speaks 3 words….Mum, Daddy and mum mums(yum yums for food) and they are spoken only rarely.
She continues to have feeding issues which stem from before she was 12 months old and had severe reflux and gag and vomit issues. She continues to be very sensory sensitive and there are whispers of autism spectrum (although too early to go there).
As a parent, i can't help but feel i have failed somehow when i look into those big brown eyes or hear her beautiful laugh. I know that's not true, but still, my heart feels a little broken as i sit here tonight and i think of all that is ahead for her.
I know that having developmental delays is nothing compared to what many families of special needs children cope with on a daily basis but for me, for my family right at this moment….it is significant and hard to hear. After all, my kid's are perfect….as any parent will tell you about their children!(Even though we know it isn't true).
What concerns me is not the referrals to the occupational therapist, feeding clinic, paediatrician and early intervention services…it is the fact that she is a twin and this makes things a little trickier.
Today i heard a lot about having to attend all these extra services (which we are lucky to have i know) with Ruby…but not Tara. I have to ensure that these sessions are only attended with Ruby so that i can focus on her. I get that…..but i also have another child and no family living close by, what am i meant to do with Tara? Apparently she can go to daycare on these days while i focus on Ruby.
Now i begin to have a slight panic attack….i don't want to just drop Tara off on her own to daycare while i attend appointments with Ruby…do they not understand the implications of this? Is this how it's going to be now? Focus on one twin but not the other?
I'm scared….i don't know how to work this with twins….what if Tara is ready for school but not Ruby? What if Ruby is continually compared to her twin as she goes through life? What if i did something different with them both and hindered Ruby's progress? These are the irrational yet real thoughts of a Mum trying to look ahead and comprehend what i heard today.
Although i have been complaining about my other half beginning night shift I'm now thinking someone was actually looking out for us because it means Tara can stay home with Daddy during times i need to attend appointments with Ruby. Truly a blessing as i can't begin to imagine dropping Tara to daycare and sauntering off with her sister!
So not all doom and gloom and i also know that it helps to have had training in this area so i can support Ruby the best i can….this is the reason we already do so many sensory activities. I'll probably be writing a little more about the activities we do in this area now and i have been stepping up my endeavours to search for the information and inspiration of others regarding delayed speech, feeding difficulties and sensory sensitivities.
There are some fantastic pinboards on Pinterest which i am finding very helpful at the moment…perhaps they have something that might interest you too.
I will be adding some more focused pins in these areas to my boards too if you want to bookmark…
There are many more and a number of blogs that i will also highlight in a future post. If anyone has a blog or pinterest board they would like to share covering the areas of speech, eating difficulties, sensory activities or twins going through something similar, please add the links in the comments section.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far…bit of a self indulgent post tonight but i really needed to just sift through some thoughts. Time to pull the shoulders back and begin to wade into the unknown…I know Tara, Miss Teen and His Patient Self will all help and support Ruby and i as we embark on this journey…wish us luck!