Since doing the mild Hyperbaric Chamber Treatments, Zachary has really increased in verbal babbling and has been able to pronounce a few words like dada, gimpa, papa, done. We decided a long time ago it was definitely time to get him into yet another therapy - speech. All our outpatient therapies are with the same location, so we decided to get in their line for a full speech-therapy-evaluation. This location's speech therapy department is so flooded there's a long waitlist just to get therapy services, let alone the initial evaluation. So we were surprised and excited when a cancellation came up and we were next in line. We went into the appointment with a great positive attitude and were really happy because we knew if we just laid him on the floor, he would begin babbling for her and she would be impressed with his verbal skills. She began the evaluation and conducted her "tests". She would ask him to point at the right picture in a book, shake little objects out of a bottle and other weird stuff. Zach even played on the floor and babbled his little head off. Then at the end of the evaluation, she decides to tell us her prognosis for Zach. "He's not going to be able to talk for the majority of his communication and will need augmentative speech devices to communicate." Not going to talk? Augmentative speech devices? Did you hear him babbling? You're saying this to a parent on their FIRST speech evaluation. Like I'm supposed to know what the heck augmentative speech device means. All I can think of is Stephen Hawking's voice computer. And how in the world can you just say he's not going to talk - he's NOT EVEN TWO YEARS OLD for crying out loud! However, at the time I was more flabbergasted and stunned than anything. I asked if she was looking too much at his diagnosis and not at him specifically. She replied that the diagnosis has much to do with it, but she wasn't very helpful or seemed very positive about him talking. She approved him to get therapy services and put us on a three-month waiting list. Yea. Renee and I sank into depression by this hard blow that came out of nowhere. Renee held it together more than I that day. I was a wreck - popped a xanax and was checked-out. It was too much for me to handle at the time. All the positive build-up we've had over the last several months, all the progression and development, all the great achievements, and then BOOM - the air's knocked out of your chest cavity and the clouds of doom & gloom swirl overhead. Given a day or so to sort it all out after the evaluation, we both decided the prognosis was absolutely ludicrous. We were not going to accept it and just like anything else with Zachary we are going to be extremely proactive and he will speak. I'm in the process of finalizing a decision on a freelance speech therapist to start working with him from home right away. All that to say, I think I found myself loving Zachary more. It was just a feeling at first, but I started thinking there were changes in the way I spoke to him and the way I handled him. It seemed as if I was “loving him more” – being sweeter, spending more time, concentrating on his needs or wants more. I knew the prognosis was not going to be correct and I knew Zachary has the capabilities and determination to exceed anyone’s expectations. And I especially knew no one loved our little bugger more than Renee and I. As time goes by, you get back into the normal routines and grooves of life and sometimes these “special” heightened feelings go back to normal levels. But for a time, I felt like I did love him more than I already did. So, back to the title of this post… Can you love them more?