Getting Help I

By the time Bright Eyes was two I was ready to get some help.

Everything I did was scattered over the period of about 12 months, and was complicated by the fact that I became pregnant and gave birth in the middle of it all.

At the beginning of this stage I just thought his problem was delayed speech, so I rang the local health centre and booked in for some speech therapy. They brought him in, had a look at him and said I should join the 'tiny talkers' program they had. I went to one session, took home the literature and tried to do everything they said, but nothing really seemed to work.

I went to the GP a little later. "I'm concerned about his speech. Do you think he could see a paediatrician?" He was a nice GP and wanted to save me some money. "I think the paediatrician would just refer you to a speechie - so why don't we try that first," he said.

I duly went to six sessions with a lovely lady who tried some things, said that he had lots of language but was not using it appropriately and in not so many words said that I wasn't tough enough with him. He did seem to improve a little from the therapy, but it was expensive and I was heavily pregnant so we didn't continue going. I thought I would just try to keep doing what she had showed me.

Things started to get worse. When the new baby was born Bright Eyes threw tantrum after tantrum all day long for hours at a time. He would run away, crawl under the furniture, kick and scream and resist anything I tried to do. I couldn't take him anywhere because he was uncontrollable. I even resorted to buying a 'Supernanny' book and tried to implement some 'naughty spots' because I thought he was just a very difficult little boy.

But again, nothing worked.

As the year went on and Bright Eyes approached the age of three, it was becoming more and more apparent that he was not just 'picking it up' and things were not improving.

My GP father in law said to me, "I think you should get this child to a developmental paediatrician. He's got some problems."

So I went down to my GP and said, "Please write a referral to a developmental paediatrician." She did so, and I made the appointment. Unfortunately the next one wasn't available for another three months, so I had some waiting to do.