I admire the relationship they share as he confides in her, plays with her, and allows her to help him grow.
Building confidence with laughter and compassion
During my pregnancy I was able to find out through ultrasound that my son, Malachai, would have a cleft lip and palate. Although we lived almost 2.5 hours from OKC at the time, we were so pleased, blessed, and grateful to have met Dr. Glade, (Malachai’s ENT/Surgeon) and continue our care throughout Malachai’s prenatal care and childhood, no matter how far we had to travel. He is now 4 and has seen other speech therapists prior to seeing Shelly. Malachai can be shy and closed in when first meeting someone as it takes a minute for him to open up (if he will). With other therapists that we’ve been to, he never liked going unless I happened to be in the room with him. It was always a hassle getting him to want to go to the back and start his sessions just about every visit.
We had finally moved to the OKC area the end of last year in 2017, and when we came back to follow up with Dr. Glade, we let him know about our concerns as far as Malachai’s speech and the experiences we had. Shelly had just moved to the same office and Dr. Glade boasted greatly on her interpersonal skills with pediatrics. The confidence and trust he had in her gave me a great sense of security that we would be in great hands that I hadn’t ever felt before. He told us she was in the building that day and we were able to meet her after our visit with him. When we did meet her, it wasn’t but a couple minutes that Malachai and Shelly were both in her toys ready to play a game while she did a quick evaluation. Watching how she worked and played while having the ability to make the session a success, has always been admirable and given us great satisfaction in her work. She knew right away the way he substituted sounds, she knew what exactly he needed to work on, and what she would be doing to start working with him. She took time out of her day to make sure we knew who she was and made sure we were involved in his care and on the same page with daily sessions and progression.
I left that building thanking God for leading me into this path and guiding our family directly to her. Since he’s been with Shelly, Malachai lets my hand go most of the time and makes his way to her room leaving Shelly and me behind. It can be a great deal at times to get him to open up or get confident in his words. Within the first couple of weeks, Shelly broke that insecurity out of him and has gotten him to be open with his words and has gradually helped her, help him. He knows the days he has therapy and looks forward to those days. I admire the relationship they share as he confides in her, plays with her, and allows her to help him grow. I no longer have to try to help soothe him and get him to open up at his sessions any longer. I sit right outside the room some sessions while they work together and just listen to their laughter while they learn and grow. Malachai’s progression with the care team has been so much more than what we have expected and much more than what we’ve hoped and prayed for.
Shelly has a special gift the way she works with children and provides the care that she does. She is a blessing and we can’t thank her enough for giving Malachai and our family the love, compassion, and support as we all grow through this together with him.