Yesterday Charlie had her speech evaluation. The place we chose is brand new. Like just opened two weeks ago, they’re still working on the parking lot new. The kids in the waiting room were all really excited and loud which seemed like a good sign-they enjoyed coming there and were happy to be there.
They got us back on time and our evaluator, Shelby, immediately sat down on the ground with Charlie. Charlie wasn’t at all shy around her which was basically a miracle. Charlie is ALWAYS shy around adults she doesn’t know. But she got right in there and started playing with her. I was filling out paperwork so I was only half watching, but guys, I wish I could just have this lady move in with me. She was amazing with Charlie. She was great about praising her when she did something right and if she missed something she really brushed over it like “no big deal” and just moved to the next thing. Charlie clapped and gave her lots of “yay!”s.
On the other hand-it was obvious that she wasn’t passing the eval. There were things she should have definitely been able to do-like identify a picture of a cat on a page that had a cat and a bird on it. Charlie has four cats, she should have been able to do that. She is also really, really behind on consonant pronunciation. There are two areas they test and if you fail either of them you qualify for therapy, and she failed both by a moderate amount. When I asked how much therapy they recommended she asked about our insurance and if we would have a copay for every visit. When I said yes she paused, so I followed up by telling her that we would find a way to do what we needed to do, so for her not to consider the money part of it. At that point she said she would recommend two 45 minute sessions a week for six months to start, and then reevaluate.
So anyway, she’s writing up the report this week and then she’ll send it to my pediatrician who will have to officially prescribe the therapy before we can get started, so it’ll be a few weeks before our first session. But Charlie really loved it there and it was obvious that they had everything they needed for these kids. Charlie actually didn’t want to leave-to her it was just playing with a really cool, fun, sweet lady. Shelby said we might not get her as a therapist and Chief and I were both like “Uh…can we change that because we really like you.” So she’s going to look at her schedule and see if she can get Charlie on there.
Now that we’ve got a plan I feel better. Shelby didn’t see any concern that this is more than just a moderate speech delay. She said Charlie was obviously very aware and actually pretty advanced in some other areas, and that this isn’t uncommon. I don’t even care if that’s true or not-it made me feel better. It’s hard being a librarian with a kid who doesn’t want to talk. I’ve had so much early literacy training, and this whole time I’ve just been feeling like I’ve failed her, but no one mentioned screen time, or interrogated me on how many minutes I read to her every day. It was all about just moving forward and helping Charlie be her best.
We did ask about Early Intervention services and the insurance lady’s face got kind of dark. She said that it is available once private insurance has been exhausted, but that they were VERY worried that with the political climate in our state it would be taken away, or only be available to families who meet a certain income threshold. She basically said they would help us try to get it in six months if we needed it, but that we shouldn’t count on it. So now we’re looking at our options. Our state does have a program where you can buy into medicaid if your child has a need (such as a speech delay). You pay based on income. It wouldn’t be cheap for us, BUT it would be cheaper than paying out of pocket. The problem is that it takes three months to qualify AFTER your clinic sends in the mountain of paperwork you have to fill out. Like they have people at the local children’s hospital whose job is to just sit and help people with these forms all day. That’s one option. My preference at this point would be to find a job with an insurance plan that would pay what Chief’s won’t pay for. On that note:
I had my job interview with the toxicology lab today and it went so well. I sat with four people, two PhD toxicologists and two office staff who have been filling the librarian roll the best they can since their long time librarian left. It was pretty informal. There was no list of questions. We just talked about my experience and what they were needing. I think I sounded pretty knowledgeable and there was nothing they mentioned that seemed outside of my abilities. They also made it clear that they had no expectations of me understanding everything right away. They encourage questions and work in a very team oriented environment. They said that everyone on staff is encouraged to make suggestions about the ways that things could run better-no one from the receptionist to the top of the firm is above or beneath anyone really. And they seemed to genuinely mean it.
It was also a really casual office-most folks were wearing jeans, it was quiet but relaxed and friendly. I was able to speak a little bit on OSHA which they do a lot of dealings with as they do a lot of expert witness for workplace lawsuits surrounding chemicals. They were pleased that I had experience with one of their vendors (Thomson Reuters is literally my biggest vendor at the law firm. I hate them, but knowing about them did me a solid today). They laughed at all my jokes and we talked about my kid a little, and they were totally fine with the schedule I needed. They said no one punches a time clock there-they just expect you to be at work when you need to and stay for about eight hours a day, and if you need to leave to go do something that’s cool, but just do your best to be there when you need to be. I asked if I would be allowed to take work home because they admitted that they’re pretty behind on library file maintenance. They all LITERALLY lit up when I said that and told me they absolutely would be fine with that, that I would be assigned a laptop and I get paid by billable hours-I can work as much as I want. It just means more money for me. They also said they would pay for me to go to ALA (American Library Association Conference) if I wanted to. In fact, they encouraged any professional development I wanted to participate in.
None of them were knowledgeable enough about benefits to speak with me about it but they all said the package was pretty good and they would have their HR person said me some info. I was hoping to get that today but it probably just slipped past them. I left the interview feeling so good. They said they were “continuing the process” for another week or so and would let me know, so I guess that means they could be interviewing other people which makes me want to die inside a little, but it is what it is. I want the job. I want it really bad. I never felt this way about the base job, and as you know I’ve felt nothing positive about it lately.
What today did was cement in me that the base job just isn’t right. Even if I don’t get this job I interviewed for today, I deserve to be happy in my job and to have transparency from my boss. So tonight I wrote an extremely polite and apologetic email to the contractor explaining that I had decided not to take the job, that there were personal developments in my life that had led me to this decision, and that the decision was not reversible at this time. I thanked him and wished him well, and then I hit send. He may send me a nasty one back, but if he does I don’t feel the need to reply. If he tries to get me to stay I also have no problem saying “I’m sorry, my decision is final.”
Honestly, I’d be fine if he never responded.
So that’s where we are. I may die from impatience waiting to hear from the toxicology lab. I’ll be absolutely heartbroken if it doesn’t happen, but today I chose to believe in myself, and I’m just really hoping it pays off.