Chapter 4

Disquiet (dis qui et) n. a feeling of anxiety or worry.

Not knowing the reason behind your child’s developmental delays can cause a feeling of anxiety or worry.

I work with a lot of students for whom there is no ‘official’ diagnosis, I’m sure many of you do also.  The journey towards a diagnosis will frequently be long and confusing, with many wrong turns along the way.

In this chapter, Robert wrestles with his first acknowledgement that the fact that his daughter is not yet talking isn’t normal. He experiences a roller coaster of emotions as each possible reason for the delay is ruled out.  He contemplates life for his daughter, if the reason is hearing loss. When that is excluded, he is back to square one, with the reason being unknown.

My take away from this chapter is to increase my empathy for my student’s parents during the diagnosis phase.  Parents are often anxious before the ARC meetings, worrying about what they will learn regarding their precious babies and how that will impact their future.

–Chelsea Graham, SLP @ Eisenhower

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12 thoughts on “Chapter 4

  1. Darcy Lanham says:

    I also reflected on this chapter and how parents are often so “unprepared” emotionally at IEP meetings. I also felt this chapter had some good insight that Robert had no idea his daughter was delayed even though she wasn’t talking at all at 18 months. I often forget that every parent does not have all the language milestones memorized, like a speech language pathologist does.
    ~Darcy Lanham @Goldsmith

  2. Melanie says:

    I think it is hard to grasp how parents are completely unaware of signs of delay in their children due to the nature of our profession. As a parent, I remember reading every book, article, etc. about pregnancy and infancy with a special focus on developmental milestones. However, it is hard to determine if I did this as a “parent” seeking information or due to the fact that I am a pediatric SLP?!?

    I have talked with many parents at IEP meetings who said their pediatricians told them that their children were fine, that it would come eventually, that he is just a boy, etc.

    I do feel that the medical profession needs to do a better job as a whole in helping parents identify possible delays and other deficits and discussing what is typical versus concerning/atypical. And directing families to appropriate sources of information and support.

  3. Kimberly Raho says:

    This is not on subject…but I have the review of the next two chapters and was wondering how to place my chapters reviews. I know how to comment or reply, but wasn’t sure how you guys post it. Do you email Kinsey? Sorry to break the flow, but I need mine posted by Monday. Thanks!

  4. Karen says:

    I thought it was interesting that by 18 months of age, they didn’t think her lack of sounds was concerning. We think know, no babbling, how strange. Even if they did not think they had reason for concern, you’d think others in their life would have mentioned it. This chapter made me think about the “journey” so many parents face in trying to find out what might be wrong with their child. We are so quick to say Autism or ADHD that we often don’t think there could be something else wrong. It’s hard to come out of denial when you’ve already thought about your hopes and dreams for your child’s future.

  5. Rachel Lacap says:

    Honestly, this chapter makes me upset at some pediatricians. I know at our daughters’ pediatricians’ office, we were given a checklist at each appointment from birth up to three years of age that included all the developmental milestones, separated into physical, play skills, speech-language skills, etc, so that we would know if they were behind in any area. To be completely blindsided at 18 months that your child has not started babbling, etc is wrong. Plus, as first time parents, they had no baseline with which to compare her lack of speech development, which makes it even more important for the doctors to educate their patients in developmental milestones.

  6. Carrie says:

    I agree that we sometimes take for granted that people know more than they do. The parent of one of my students who has a fluency disorder said to me at an ARC meeting that she was frustrated that her daughter couldn’t say her name without stuttering… “She knows her name. It is so frustrating.” Oh my. I had failed in the area of parent education. Now I know, though. Older and wiser 🙂
    Regarding the delay in services….. hopefully if they had gone through this in present day, early intervention services would have been started by now.

  7. Marie Fisher says:

    I do not have kids of my own yet, but I find myself watching my friends’s babies in terms of their communication/milestones. I can tell I will be a worrier one day (especially at 18 months if I did not notice any sort of babbling). However, I am not sure that I would be so observant if it were not for my background in speech. I hope pediatricians today are keeping first time parents informed on what to be looking out for .

  8. Lindsey Nicklies (Noonan) says:

    This chapter and Chelsea’s reflection gave me a huge reminder that all of our kids are someone’s baby. I do not have kids of my own and with all of the boxes we have to check and things we have to make sure get done during ARC meetings, it is easy to catch yourself quickly going through the motions to get back to your treatment sessions. It is crucial to remember that our parents may have no background in whats going on with their child or no idea of the severity. How scary for a parent! This is a great reminder to take the extra time to educate them, reassure them and guide them in the right direction.

  9. Kim Campbell (Carter) says:

    Like others, I do not have children so I don’t not know first hand how difficult it is to raise a child, especially a child with special needs. While reading this chapter, I found myself thinking “why are th parents not concerned about Schuyler’s lack of babbling?” Or “Why hasn’t the pediatrician explored possible delays?” Then I thought, if I were not a SLP would I be concerned about my child’s lack of speech? I have often joked that if/when I have kids I will administer the Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale to assess his/her preverbal and verbal communication/interaction skills. It is important to educate parents on developmental milestones, as well as services that are provided to address any delays.

  10. allison forrester says:

    I was also surprised that there were no concerns about Schuyler’s verbal communication up until now. It makes you wonder about the pediatrician and why there wasn’t some sort of checklist that they were required to look over to make sure she was meeting milestones.

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