Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Special Needs Child

Our last two adoption have been of special needs children.  These kids would never be considered special needs if they had been born in the US.   Anyway, our newest addition has a cleft lip and palate – his need is more visible – although his lip looks so good, most people don’t notice it.  His speech however is another story.  He is VERY difficult to understand.  I know he understands English well at this point (not fluent, but doing great), but his speech is almost unintelligible.  This has been the most difficult thing about this adoption.  He is such a great kid and if we hadn’t been willing to consider a need which would require some surgery and therapy – we would have missed out on what an amazingly adaptable, joyful child that he is.  He has been fine with me saying “really” or “wow” or “sure” when he tells me a story which I can’t understand at all – at least he was good with it until this week.  His English is progressing so well that he just noticed this week that I am not giving him the appropriate answer and he is getting frustrated.  So, thank goodness, his cleft palate repair is tomorrow.  He is also getting ear tubes which should help with his hearing loss (and the constant – “huh” – that I get from him).  I wanted to remember what he sounded like before surgery – so I took some videos this week.  (I remember thinking how cute Benjamin’s accent was as he was learning English, and now, 4 years later – I can hardly remember that he had an accent).  Will’s speech will not be perfect after his surgery – but he will at least have the capability, with a lot of speech therapy, to learn how to speak and really communicate well for the first time in his life – I am so sorry he had to wait 5 years for this.

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