Saturday, August 20, 2016

ENT Visit

I took Kiddo to the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat doctor) because of a suggestion Nancy Kaufman made about Kiddo sounding very congested, almost like he had his nose plugged and that the ENT could tell us what is going on that might improve the quality of Kiddo's voice.

The ENT did.  Kiddo has enlarged adenoids and will have them surgically removed Sept 6th.  One of his ear tubes/grommets has fallen out and a tympanogram (a test for fluid and pressure in the middle ear) revealed that he still has pressure in that ear and so the ENT will reinsert an ear tube when he removes Kiddo's adenoids.  His other tube, inserted about two years ago, is still in place and doing its job well.

The ENT told me essentially the same thing as Nancy Kaufman, that Kiddo's voice sounds very congested, and that by removing his adenoids his voice could sound clearer than it does now.  He also said that Kiddo will probably get less frequent colds/coughs/croup than he does now.  The only risk, other than that of anesthesia of course, is that he could sound like he's whistling when he talks until he learns how to talk with a palate that is not being held in place by such large adenoids.  A temporary side effect should it occur, but one that would require time and specific speech therapy to correct.  We are praying that Kiddo not experience any side effects, that he have a speedy recovery, and that his speech would be clearer after the surgery.  How cool would that be?!?

Prayers greatly appreciated, especially on Tuesday, Sept 6th, and I'll write a post after the procedure sharing how it went.

For more information, check out this article: Tonsils and Adenoids: How Do They Affect Speech?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back to School!

Well, Kiddo is now a kindergartener!  Man oh man, does time fly.  His teacher, Ms. Collins, seems just perfect for him, and he is so very excited that his best friend is in his class.  (Her mama and I both requested that they be in the same class, and were so relieved when the request was granted.  Both of our kiddos have a hard time making friends, but have found great friends in each other).

Kiddo meeting his teacher, Ms. Collins

First day of Kindergarten! 
He had a great first day!  We asked him what his favorite thing at school was and he said playing with his friend, sitting next to Ms. Collins, and riding the school bus.  We asked him what he learned and he said nothing.  Well, it is the first day after all.  He was excited to go back the next day, and is now off on his third day of school.

So now it's just Little Brother and me during the day.  We have him on a waitlist for a preschool, but until then, he goes to a mother's day out program once or twice a week for social fun and they have a curriculum they do with the kiddos too.

Just me and the little stinker who wouldn't let me put my arm around him for this picture.
But we're both smiling and looking at the camera, so win!

Here's to a great 2016-2017 school year!

Friday, August 5, 2016

SPEAK Week 2

It has been an awesome two weeks.  Check out the previous post to learn more about the things we learned if you're interested.  Today's post is mainly for celebrating the people that loved on Kiddo and helped both of us learn so very much, as well as final thoughts Nancy had about Kiddo and his future.

Nancy Kaufman:

First of all, a collage, comparing Kiddo working with Nancy in 2014, and just this past few weeks.  Seriously, this lady is amazing.  She knows her stuff, and she is happy to teach it to parents so they can reinforce what the kiddos have been learning at home.  She is passionate and dedicated to these kids and her methods, and they really do work.  

Nancy's Final Thoughts:

In our final meeting with Nancy, Nancy told me how smart Kiddo was, how much progress he's made, and how she's convinced he'll do great and be resolved soon.  I was surprised by this, and so I asked her where she thought Kiddo was on the apraxia spectrum.  He has been stuck in the severe to moderate severe range for so long I thought it would just be awesome to hear we were in the moderate range.  But what she told me, blew me away.  She said she thinks he has mild apraxia!  

During one of his sessions she had told me he sounded very nasal.  I asked her what that meant exactly and she said he sounds very nasal and congested and that we should get an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) appointment as soon as we get back.  (I already set up the appointment for August 17, haha).  She told me it could be something simple, like allergies or congestion that could be treated with medicine, or possibly some form of an obstruction that might require a medical procedure or surgery to fix. She explained that when you hear someone talking with a pinched nose it's much harder to understand what they're saying, that generally the vowels are the same, but the consonant sounds are distorted or left out all together, and so getting that fixed will do wonders for his clarity.

She thinks in another year or so, he shouldn't need speech anymore which would be awesome.  I really hope she is right about the nasal thing, because getting that corrected sounds a lot easier than several more years of intensive speech therapy.  Praying he doesn't require surgery, but if it will help him, then we'll do whatever he needs.

I asked her why she thought his language was so far below his peers.  She thinks it's because he has some red flags for autism (which we've had him tested for, he just doesn't have enough flags to be considered on the spectrum), and this is just one of those flags.  She thinks he needs a social skills therapist moreso than a speech therapist, and we should look for social skills groups in our area when we get home.  Also, the fact that he hasn't really had opportunities to practice using language could be a factor, and so she recommends we spend more time encouraging him to use longer sentences and correct grammar, then we do working on his articulation, and we should see his language really take off.  A language take off sounds great to me. :)

So overall, I feel reassured with this news, though if the ENT doesn't find anything then I don't know what we'll do except to continue with the intensive speech therapy until he doesn't need it anymore.  But, anyway, Kiddo with the amazing Nancy Kaufman.