Just over eighteen months ago, Julia was fitted with her two hearing aids and the world of sound was turned on. We began, the very next day, with intensive speech therapy to help her battle back from the significant language and articulation delay the hearing loss caused.
I drove her to Children’s Hospital’s North campus twice per week for over a year. Every sound she’s learned has been drilled and practiced in the tiny office of her speech therapist. On a few occasions, I would observe through one-way glass with headphones to hear their work. It never failed to make me feel like crying. Whether she was making progress or stalled in a dreaded plateau, the feeling of watching her in that little cube laboring over what should have come without notice, it made me sad.
About six months ago, her therapist was coming out after each visit with reports of how fabulous Julia was doing. In structured activities, her articulation was perfect. We decided to drop to one day a week, Wednesday.
Yesterday, our weekly journey to speech therapy ended. I was a little misty-eyed saying goodbye to our terrific speech therapist that has helped us so much in our most difficult parenting hurdle. It’s hard to separate the trauma of a change in a long-time routine from the joy of knowing we accomplished just what we wanted to. We achieved our goal – we caught up to normal in time for Kindergarten. We did it!