I don't normally like to talk about it because I have a sense that my fear is stupid and unreasonable to most people.
But I truly cannot get over it, and as my daughter's multi-disciplinary assessment from the school district looms large this week, it is becoming worse. And probably more irrational.
I try not to get into the specifics of my daughter's speech delay, but let's just say it is significant. Like, below the 10th percentile for her age group.
She has extreme difficulty communicating her needs. I have never heard her ask for something to eat, and only rarely ask for something to drink. When she is in pain, there is much screaming and crying, but not a whole lot of substantive words that help me to understand exactly where she is hurting and how I can help her.
She does not tell stories about her day, or things she has done. She doesn't even refer to herself as "I" and only rarely refers to herself in the third person, often using her nickname. She can say lots of single words at the moment, but has trouble stringing more than three words together.
The doctors are convinced that if she can just get into a special-needs preschool program, she will benefit greatly. She'll be around peers! She'll learn through peer pressure how to sit in circle time!
And while I don't doubt that in many ways, the program could be beneficial, I have this overwhelming fear that something bad will happen to her, and she will NEVER be able to express it to me.
It could be bullying from another student. It could be "accidental" roughness from another student. Heaven forbid, it could be some form of abuse, verbal or otherwise, from an adult.
I positively guarantee that she is unable to express if something negative should happen to her.
This has led me to not trust any babysitters that aren't family or thoroughly background-checked by myself or my husband, which usually leads to high prices, as it isn't your regular high schooler. Thus, not a whole lot of babysitting, either.
So as we roll into school sponsored services and programs where I cannot see her at all times, I am starting to panic. She likes people and is so very trusting, she would be a perfect target for someone with not so good intentions.
When she visits her speech therapist, I always sit in the observation room so that I can see what they are doing. Partly so that I can learn what she is learning and carry it out at home, but also because I trust no one.
I feel overwhelmed with fear, and I know in some sense it is going a bit overboard, but females with speech disabilities are statistically high on the list for encountering abuse.
So friends, I need some advice.
How do I get over this?