Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jillian's Speech Therapy Graduation

{If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you already saw what today was all about. For my sake, I wanted to record it here too.}

Today was a bittersweet day in our family. Today was Jillian's last official speech therapy session. We may go one more time before school starts, but we do not have any on the calendar as of now.
{We took some cookies to share with the clinic to celebrate!}

I have always wondered what this day would be like. Would I be happy? Sad? Relieved? Excited? Worried? Honestly, I think I'm a mix of most of these with an emphasis on proud. I am so proud of Jillian and all she has accomplished. I'm proud of our family for finding a way to help her. I'm proud of her speech therapist, who really did amazing things in and out of the therapy room!

Our journey to this place has definitely been a roller coaster. From the time she was officially diagnosed with hearing loss, to the day she started talking full sentences, we have had many things that truly made me worry that I couldn't do this. I didn't feel equipped to handle this, and I didn't want to make anything worse for Jillian. There was a stretch of several months where Jillian could obviously understand us, but chose not to verbally answer. Her hour long speech therapy sessions would be 50 minutes of her just screaming and balling her eyes out. It was so hard.

In a years time, we went from sessions with tears to this:

Take Me Out To The Ballgame by Jillian Coghill 10/24/2014 from Courtney on Vimeo.
{This has been awhile, but it's still appropriate being baseball season and all ;)}

Jillian's hearing clinic gave us so much more than speech therapy sessions, booth tests, and a preschool for Jillian to attend. They gave us hope. They gave us triumph. They gave us love.

Anyone in that clinic loved my daughter. No, they loved all of us! They helped me realize that I can be the parent Jillian needs. I have it in me to do what it takes. I have it in me to be my child's advocate. I have it in me to be a source for other families who are going through the same thing. I have it in me to defend my daughter when people make comments one way or the other about her hearing loss and/or lack of hearing technology. I have it in me to be a cheerleader for other children.

For Jillian, they taught her that she can do anything. It may be hard work, but it can be done! I mean, you just try to tell Jilly that she has hearing loss and that it will hold her back. She would laugh right in your face, then speak as eloquently as a 15 year old. This girl can do anything. It's what I always wanted for her, and the hearing clinic helped me do just that. She is so confident in herself!

I can't tell you the number of times I have teared up or ugly cried when I hear about another child's successes in speech therapy. I know what it feels like to wonder if and when your precious baby will ever get there.

It is my hope and prayer that, if you or anyone you know is going through some type of hearing loss diagnosis, that you get to be connected to such an amazing group like we did. It was truly a God thing that we ended up where we did. Before Jillian was even born, I researched pediatricians, Phil and I met with/interviewed the one we ended up choosing, then he is the one that had us to the official test at this clinic. Then, just weeks before Jillian's diagnosis, legislature was passed so that Jillian's services were covered by the state until age 3! With Phil still being in graduate school for his PhD, that was the only way we could afford the services.

I wish there was more I could do to express just how thankful and happy I am. It is hard to think that this part of our life is over for now. We were recently told that, with some new research evidence, Jillian may need a hearing aid, or even a cochlear implant at some point in her life for that ear. Definitely not something we need to worry about in the immediate future though. It makes sense, and I am not worried whatsoever. If I learned anything, it is that the clinic will go above and beyond to make sure Jillian gets the best care she needs. {Their therapists actually go visit the families of kids who have surgery for cochlear implants!} We do get to go ever 3 months for booth tests, but it won't be the exact same. I just hope that clinic knows just how much of a blessing they are!

To Ms. Casey, Ms. Jenn, Ms. Krystal, Ms. Tami, Ms. Megan, Ms. Laurel, Ms. Jackie, Ms. Reyna, and everyone else at Hearts for Hearing, thank you from my whole entire heart!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Jillian! I know so many of those feelings you had first hand, the sorrow, the joy, the pride! Parker ran over to watch her singing when I started playing the video, then clapped when it was all done! Great job mama for fighting for her ad great job Jillian!

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