Friday, November 20, 2009

Thufferin' Thuccotash

Well, I'd be lying if I said there were no new pictures to post. The truth is, I have some of the day that Dexter wore underwear and I have pictures of the absolute turmoil that was haircutting day for Dexter. But, I'm not going to do that kind of a post right now. Today, Dexter had his 18 months shots (4 months late instead of on his 18 month birthday like his big brother). After that were BOTH of the boys speech appointments/assessments. So, that's what I'm blogging about today.

AJ's Speech Appointment

So, end of May was AJ's last speech appointment. For those who are new to hearing that I took AJ to see a speech and language pathologist a very long time ago, my initial main reasons were:
*a lisp (saying th instead of s)
*skipping consonants, especially for blends
*having to translate him for people who didn't see him often
*some odd anunciation like - rolled=world door=your top=stop and way more.
(I'd better start tagging my entries for topics, as I'd love to be able to reference the last appointments for my own sake)

All along, I've been told that he's still well within normal, but yes, did have a slight lisp 'but the good kind', the other issues were all still developmentally appropriate, and that in all other respects (vocabulary/communication) he's way beyond where he needs to be for his age.

AJ has not to this date received speech therapy. He's merely being assessed periodically to be sure he's progressing and to 'keep his foot in the door' so to speak.

Normally they don't 'work on' lisps at this young age. However, the lady did give me a 'game' I could play with AJ to work on it, as she trusted I would not be badgering him about his lisp.

Well, that following weekend was when Richard was diagnosed. Of course, I've still had the game all along, but it fell by the wayside. However, what has been going on since the last appointment, was AJ's facination with letters/words and the desire to read. Therefore, I have inadvertantly been working on anunciation with him by helping him learn to sound out words.

Also, I made sure to mention to her that in working on reading with AJ, I was quite happy to see that his odd anunciation at times, doesn't seem to hinder his ability to sound out words properly. This is a really good thing.

So... today:
She was absolutely delighted to see how much AJ has progressed. Albeit some of it is that AJ was not as shy this time, so she was able to hear more. He was willing to have a conversation with her, let her look in his mouth, and let her hear certain words she wanted to hear.

I mentioned to her, something that I don't think I've ever mentioned on the blog and that is AJ's constant gagging/choking on things. She mentioned, what she had said last time, that his throat area is 'bulky'. And, she mentioned a possible space in his palate. She kept almost saying a possibility of a 'cleft palate', but seemed to be stopping herself from saying that. I can't tell if it's that she didn't want to scare me or that she couldn't think of another way to explain it. She also mentioned that she heard a bit of nasality at the beginning of her conversation with him.

Anyhow... I'm to take AJ to the doctor to ask for an appointment with the ENT or at BC Children's for AJ. All of AJ's blends were awesome. She said that he was pronouncing R's and L's extremely well, considering his age. She offered the choice of closing AJ's file, but that if anything worsened to just call and he'd be back on the list, or to have one more follow up appointment in 6 months. I went with the follow up for two reasons:
1. It will kick my butt in gear to make sure that I make the appointment with the doctor and the ENT.
2. If Dexter isn't 'in the system yet', at least I'll be able to have him with me for a sneak

Dexter's First Speech Appointment

I'm so glad I asked to get him put on 'the list' and to have her take a listen to him. The first thing she mentioned was his drooling. She said, "Is this normal?" I said, "Well, I like to think that he goes through spells of not drooling, but seriously, yah, he always has a drool spot on his shirt."

She said that could be a sign of some weak muscle tone in his mouth and blah blah, I forget the details.

Also, that he still likes to put things in his mouth. It's not crazy, but it's more often that I would think is normal for this age.

Then of course, the reason I wanted to have him looked at. I was pretty sure that he was going from being 'still within normal' for his vocabulary to 'falling behind', and I was right. He's ehind for his age. I mentioned there being certain words that he will link together or say like, "Hi Daddy, Hi Mommy, Bye Daddy, Hi Gannie (for Grannie)" but that for the most part, he really just uses sounds.
Almost all words fall under these categories:
ba and sometimes pa
could be ball
could be up
could be help
could be back
could be paul
could be cat
could be cow
could be come
could be kim
could be go
could be gram

He will attempt to copy things that I say, but usually they barely resemble the word.

Yet, orders come out almost clearly
stay (more like day)

She gave me lots of tips.
Like when he's trying to ask for something and I'm clarifying...
Instead of me saying,
"Do you want me to get you a cracker?"
I should instead focus on keeping it very simple to help model some basics like,
"Want cracker? Want cracker?"

Which is just like 'toddlerease' from Happiest Toddler on the Block with which I am very familiar, so I think I can do it.

She also wants me to make him a sound scrapbook. Instead of a letter per page with things that start with that letter. I would instead fill a page with items that start with the same sound.

Also, make a appointment for him at the doctor to mention the drooling thing and to check his throat too.

Ahhhhhh. Felt good. I mean, it's never nice to know that something's 'wrong', but at the same time it's so relieving to hear someone validate your concerns and to maybe know that there's a reason behind the issues.

So, Dexter has a referral now and we just wait 4 months or so for him to make his way through the wait list to get his first proper true assessement and such to find out if there's a speech delay or muscle issues or what.

***I can't stress how important it is to get things checked out if you have any concerns. Sometimes there are wait lists and if there is something seriously wrong, you get help sooner rather than later!
People thought I was weird taking AJ in to get looked at originally. Especially since he had such a huge vocabulary for his age and used sentences and such. But if I can prevent him from having a lisp when he's 12 years old by having him looked at and monitored now, I'm going to do it!

The boys were both very well behaved for the appointment that was about 1.25 hours. On top of having already been at the Health Unit for 30 minutes because Dexter had his shots.

Dexter' s Shots

What can I say? He was a trooper. He screamed his head off. But that lollipop that I gave him kept him really happy. By the time we were in the speech appointments, he had long since forgotten about the shots. Nice.

It was really just a wonderful morning. I'm going to make the doctor's appointments for when Richard is back home so he can come too. Dexter's a bit of a pill in a doctor's office and extra hands are nice.


Outnumbered said...

Sounds like a productive appt. I'm sure the SLP mentioned this to you, but the fact that Dexy's receptive language skills are appropriate makes things WAY easier. Plus, he is 'turning on' his voice for some sounds, and that is really hard for some kids.
Good for you for keeping your eye out for them!

Die note - did you know that here in AB, only the bottom percentile of speech kids get funding and help? Craziness!

Outnumbered said...

That's supposed to say side note, not die note, lol.

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The Bee Hive said...

So glad I read this... I'm huge on not bringing them in, but you're's better to have them brought in then a lisp at twelve!

Everett sounds very much like Dex...I may have him checked out. "Yes, Please" can be anyhwere from "yeh, peeze" to "Leh heeze"... I find he just gets lazy, too. If I make him say it again slowly, he usually can say it correctly...interesting. Thanks for the motivation to actually bring him has been almost two years....sigh. :-)