It is bittersweet to be writing what will probably be the final entry for this blog. Benjamin is getting ready to start Kindergarten at the local school district and we have had a busy summer that has been filled with soccer camp, baseball camp, a community theatre camp and production, a couple of family vacations and all of the things that go along with summertime and kids.
In May, we were officially released from all therapy services. We are finally done. Benjamin finished up with about 2 years at the Carruth Center and a total of 3 years of therapy from various professionals. As he was approaching his 6th birthday, we found ourselves working towards speech goals that would have been for a 7- or 8-year-old. When I look back at the amount of work that Benjamin has put into his therapy and the incredible professionals that have helped us, I am overwhelmed with a variety of emotions.
One interesting situation that has occurred from this journey is that I was selected to be part of an 8-member board for our insurance company. This was due to the attention that I got from being so persistent in getting Benjamin’s speech therapy covered. As a member of this board, I have influence on coverage, rates, and appeals. It has definitely been eye-opening to see the other side of this process. A couple of weeks ago, when reviewing an appeal for speech therapy, I was able to voice my thoughts on covering these services for children with development delays and to talk about the value of early intervention and therapy. The board has agreed to review the exclusions and consider removing them. It was an incredible moment for me to think that all of the work that we put in just might help make the road a bit easier for another family.
Benjamin still has a few minor speech struggles from time to time. We still work through some jumbled sentence structure and often have to repeat something for him to fully process what we are saying, but those are minor considering where we started. Although he is reading quite well, we have decided to repeat Kindergarten this year because of his June birthday and he could probably use another year for maturity. So, with that, this will be our final video clip to show off Benjamin’s progress and will pretty much be a “wrap” for this blog.
The response that I have received to this blog has been incredible. From the families that have contacted me for information (as far as India) to the clinics that have retweeted my posts, I have been honored to share Benjamin’s story with each and every one of you. Now that the summer has drawn to an end, we are looking forward to fill the time that we spent on speech therapy with soccer, baseball, video games, reading, building Legos, and everything else that this awesome kid loves to do.