Dear Speech Therapist:
I am writing to you today on behalf of my daughter, Amelia.
It took me a long time to admit that the birth defect that my daughter had been born with had caused her to develop abnormally. No one wants to imagine their child has problems and all that we’ve dealt with in Amelia’s short life have been problems. Potential problems. Wait-and-see problems. Real problems, too.
Thanks to an improper aligning of cells around 28 days gestation, my daughter’s brain developed (in small part) outside of her head. At three weeks of age, she had surgery to remove this brain matter and fix the skull that hadn’t properly formed.
In her short life, she’s dealt with more than most and she’s handled it with more grace and dignity than I ever could.
So today, I write to you on her behalf.
You are her second therapist, hired by Early Intervention to help my daughter find her words. I like to picture them floating around her beautiful brain like fireflies, someone like you hired to help her find and catch them. If I could have done it without you, believe me, I would have. Accepting help is not something that I excel in.
But I have realized that you have a talent that I do not and I reached out and asked you to help my daughter, the girl with curls like a halo, to help her find her words.
The first therapist Amelia had was fantastic…but was allergic to my cats. She stuck it out and worked with my daughter as long as she possibly could, attempting to EYE OF THE TIGER through it until my daughter was able to find a replacement.
Then we found you. Therapist Number Two.
I’ve met you twice now. My daughter likes you. That says a lot. Amelia is rather picky about Her People.
Three weeks ago, you called off services, claiming you couldn’t make it. Some sort of meeting you wouldn’t be back from. How you didn’t know that ahead of time, I wasn’t sure, but I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt. It happens. Things come up.
Two weeks ago, you called off again. Sick this time. Again, that’s fine. Sick happens. I’d rather you not bring sickness into my home anyway. I’d just had surgery and needed to be sick again like I needed to be kicked in the face by a donkey.
Yesterday, you had your scheduler call. This time, you claimed that you were allergic to my cats. You wanted to continue services by meeting at the mall. THE MALL. Along with the Mall Walkers and teenagers, we were somehow supposed to meet with you at the mall. Right. That makes sense. Because the entire point of having services in the home is because children my daughter’s age learn better in their own homes. The mall is not an environment that is conducive to learning and as an “educator” you should know better.
What offends me most about this is not that you wanted to meet at the mall. It’s that you are lying to me. If you had such a problem with my cats (I have 2 cats, not 23), you should have said so three weeks ago when I had the ability to start the search for someone new then.
Instead, you’ve given me three flimsy excuses and now my daughter has had no therapy in three weeks. Three. Weeks.
While that is not a long time to an adult or even, perhaps, a three-year old, this is a huge amount of time for a child her age. You should know that and you should be ashamed of yourself for putting her in this position.
You left me no choice but to fire you. So I did. I can’t have someone so obviously flaky trying to teach my daughter to find her words.
But I’m hurt that you’d do this to her. She’s had a hard life. You’re not making it any easier on her.
My daughter, though, she’s a fighter. She’s doing just fine on her own. She’s come up with a number of words you never taught her because you’d never bothered. Really, it’s your loss.
You’re lucky I’m too infirm to hunt you down and make you blow bubbles with her.
I honestly hope that your other patients are treated with more respect and regard than my daughter has been.