Today was the day. We knew it was coming, but I forgot how soon it was. Today was the last day for our Help Me Grow coordinator to visit with Cubs. We went out yesterday and got Miss Pennie a little gift and card. We also got her a magnetic picture frame and put a pic of her with Cubs in it. He made her a thank you card too.
Here is our HMG story. It's not long, but it means a lot to me to share how wonderful this agency is.
When Cubs was about 4 months old, I noticed he didn't turn his head when you talked to him. When I would go and get him up from napping, I would have to stick my head over the crib before he would smile. He didn't coo very much either. I was worried and our pediatrician had him checked over. He had an ear infection. This turned out to be the first of the 10 he had in his first year of life.
Cubs before HMG started helping us
After struggling with his ear infections, I ask for a referral to an ENT. The ENT took one look in his ears and confirmed that he would need tubes. At this point, he was about a year old and had very little hearing in his right ear and NONE in his left ear. I was astonished! No wonder my little man wasn't talking, he couldn't hear us!! About this time, I contacted an agency called Help Me Grow. It is a state funded agency in Ohio that helps children ages birth to 3 get the services they need to well, help them grow. We were assigned a wonderful lady named Pennie.
We first met Pennie when Cubs was about 14 months old. She brought out specialists and others to our home and they tested Cubs in all sorts of areas. They observed his motor skills, sensory/receptive and social/emotional skills. They told me that I had a pretty smart little guy on my hands who just couldn't hear. I was so thankful!
Cubs had tubes put into his ears at 18 months. Before going into surgery, he had a vocabulary of about 5 words. Mama, Dada, No!, num, and doggie. You really had to struggle to understand even those few words. After the surgery though, a whole new world opened up for him. We had trials of all kinds! The first thunder storm he ever heard scared him silly!!!!
During this time and up until today, HMG has continued to offer him their services. Pennie has come to our home for visits and taught him basic speech, animal sounds, body parts, etc.. All those little things that most parents take for granted their kids will know before they are two usually. Every new milestone reached has been its own reward for us! I give the credit to HMG and Pennie for most of it! She would come visit, work with Cubs and then give me ideas and suggestions on how to reinforce the learning. I also really loved that she never excluded his big or baby sisters when she came out either. They were always included!
Today, according to the ENT and HMG, my little Cubs is a normal little 2 (he will be 3 next month) year old. He can speak full sentences now, follow simple directions and the best part (in my opinion) is that is able to say "Mommy, I wuv you!" and give me big hugs! That is the best reward a mother could ask for!
Thank you Help Me Grow and thank you especially to Pennie!! Without your help and support, I would have been at a loss! You have helped my special little guy become the boisterous, outgoing, VERY vocal preschooler he is today!!!
Pennie and Cubs on the HMG train ride this past weekend