3 Monkeys

1 Oct

We believe daily that our children are perfect. Not necessarily genius level scholars, not Mozart or Emily Carr, but at least we think them to be normal, average little people with potential.

I took Rosalyn to her 3.5 year assessment yesterday, and I will say going in that I had some concerns. Her speech, while drastically better than it was, is still many times garbled and incomprehensible. Even without comparing her to her silver tongued sister, she’s had to understand in that Boomhauer sorta way. She seems to not hear us a lot, but whether or not that’s a selective hearing it’s hard to tell.

And her eyes. Both myself and her father wear glasses. I’m significantly more blind than he is, being unable to see near or far. So while Vivian has better than 20/20 vision, I’m afraid that Rosalyn has inherited some issues, namely nearsightedness, since to really look at something, she has to hold it about 1 inch from her nose, and then goes nearly crosseyed to see it.

So we do the tests. The hearing one? Shit, I found the headphones tight, and Rosalyn cannot abide anything tight on her, so we don’t know if she missed the frequencies, or if she just couldn’t hear them considering the headphone placement. The eye test? Wouldn’t sit still for most, but missed most of the depth perception test. I picked up the book however, and would have also missed most of them.

The tester also felt as I did about her speech, that at this point she should be closer to people outside the family understanding her.  I felt relieved in a way, to know I wasn’t hearing things.

The bigger problem is that when Rosalyn doesn’t want to do something, she just won’t do it, period. And I think that influenced the tests today. Where he sister is eager and happy to please, she’s her mother’s daughter, and doesn’t give a shit if she can’t see what’s in it for her. So i’m afraid her abilities and senses will be judged based on her will-scary indeed.

I’m not afraid something is wrong. I know she’ll likely need glasses, and possibly a little speech therapy in the worst case scenario. I’m more concerned with fixing any issues.

It’s the wondering-after the first one comes out so advanced in some things, without a problem, how does the second one, the one that I seemingly did everything right with, have so many potential struggles?

We won’t even get into the hair raising hissy fits….

She will be fine. I just wish there were easier answers, or that it was ok to just step back and accept what will be.

10 Responses to “3 Monkeys”

  1. Helen October 1, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    You’re Rosalyn’s mom, Thordora. You would know instinctively if something were wrong. And you said yourself that you know nothing is seriously wrong. So I would hedge my bets on your being right, rather than the tester.

    I think what kids want is to be taken seriously, to be accepted for who they are rather than what someone else, or society, wants to mold them to be. If you show her respect (however someone can show a child respect), she will feel more comfortable in her own skin and be more cooperative.

  2. Caitlin October 1, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    It sounds more like she’s just being a normal 3.5 year old.We have problems with Paul because he tends to get deeply involved in whatever he’s doing and it’s almost like he can’t hear you. But I know his hearing is good because he comes running from the other room whenever I open something with crinkly packaging.

    You might want to take her to an optometrist that specializes in pediatrics. Paul was non cooperative the day of his eye doctor appointment when it came to the cards (houses, basic shapes, and animals). His doctor used an old fashioned method where you cover one eye and shine a light into the other to determine the prescription. (They have a machine that does it automatically, but you need to have a teenager sized face at minimum.)

    One thing you might look at is how other people are treating her with respect to Vivian. My sister hated being “Caitlin’s little sister” instead of just Anna. I also had an easy time picking up advanced skills, but my sister didn’t. She said that she used to always feel like she was a big disappointment to people who knew me first. I remember my mom being really upset with her for throwing the kindergarten entrance exam, but I think my sister was trying to be different than me. Maybe Rosalyn is going through something similar? You could try to find something new for her that Vivian hasn’t done, so she’s not competing with Vivian.

  3. nessa October 1, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    You’re her mom. If something feels “off” than it probably is. One thing I have learned with 4 kids is that they can indeed be completely 100% different from each other and that may have nothing to do with rivalry. Ava is outgoing and self-confident to a fault, Emma is shy and reserved and anxious. Eleanor and Helena are TBD.

    If Ros does have hearing issues, that would certainly affect her speech. And hearing noises is not the same as clearly hearing the verbal nuances of speech. So many letters sound similar- it doesn’t take a serious hearing problem for her to have difficulty with language.

    You are doing the right thing by having all of this checked out. What’s the worst that will happen, right? You either get told she is fine, or you discover the problem and find the solution- win win! 🙂 Good luck. And don’t be so hard on yourself. Kids are kids. Sometimes we fuck up and sometimes we’re the best parents ever…everything will work out fine in the end. ‘Tis the way of things. (You can see how I get through my days! LOL) 😉

  4. dayatthebeach October 1, 2008 at 3:42 pm #

    Nessa’s right. My little guy had a speech impediment and a hearing problem. He could hear, but couldn’t understand what he heard. They put tubes in his ears and all is well with the world again. He still has to do speech therapy for a couple years, but in the bigger scheme of things, not a big deal. He WISHES he could wear glasses, because Clark Kent and Peter Parker both do. And you can’t be a superhero without the glasses.

  5. Gwen October 1, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    It *is* okay to step back and accept it all (especially as the speech would probably resolve itself in time.) But it’s hard to do, I know.

  6. Hannah October 1, 2008 at 9:53 pm #

    Can I just say that it’s so refreshing to read about a mother who isn’t convinced that her child has some kind of disorder, syndrome, disease, or problem because they aren’t developing the same way as their older sibling?

    The blogosphere is so full of worried moms and I can’t help but wonder if sometimes, it’s an overreaction. Your calm approach to all of this is quite reassuring, if that’s the right word.

    I freely admit that when you guys were here, I had a hard time understanding all of Ros’ speech. But it was very clear that SHE understood everything that was said. And oftentimes, when the older sibling understands the younger’s speech patterns and “translates”, the younger one gets a bit lazy about being understood.

    Good luck. I hope everything turns out alright with her speech / hearing.

  7. Marcy October 1, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    You’ve gotten a lot of good feedback.

    I think it is possible to accept the reality as a whole — the reality that she wasn’t all that cooperative at the tests (you can try a different tester, or just go again some other time, or use bribes, or…), the reality that there’s a possibility of speech or hearing or sight issues, AND the reality that you’re concerned but don’t know how concerned to be…

  8. Mad October 2, 2008 at 9:55 am #

    Miss M went to her 3 1/2 clinic last month. She has been referred to the audiologist b/c she wasn’t hearing the frequencies in her left ear. We already know she has vision problems b/c she’s been seeing an opthalmologist for some time now and has been patching to help fix some of the issues. What I can say, is that when it comes to vision and hearing resources, this province is pretty good. We’ve been pleased with the professionals we’ve encountered along the way and I hope that Ros gets the same kind of care and attention.

  9. Mad October 2, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    Look at that! I leave an optimistic comment and WordPress gives me a sad face icon. Silly WordPress.

  10. Unfit Mother October 10, 2008 at 12:24 am #

    What Nessa Said. Your child is who she is and you’ll figure it out. You taking the right steps by being cautious but not overly concerned. Well done! I have have a hard time maintaining that kind of perspective sometimes.

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