Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wonderwoman (AKA our Speech Therapist)

Nolan had an absolutely amazing speech therapy session on Wednesday. We had lost the words "ball" (pronounced da) and "Uh-Oh" (pronounced uh), which was rather upsetting. We have been working very hard to get them back, and Nolan successfully uttered "Da!" for us several times during our session. Then, to further wow us with his unending potential, he proceded to imitate "eat" (eee!) and "Kitty" (not a consistent sound, but one that usually has a "kh" sound somewhere within the squeal). I'm not quite sure how Mrs. C. manages to get Nolan to become a literal chatterbox when she's here- maybe she secretly puts something in his goldfish crackers! It is interesting that most of his early words and word approximations are ones that he already has signs for. Is it normal to be in love with your kid's speech therapist?

We also discussed Nolan's minor head lag issue. She consulted with a physical therapist, and after talking to his pediatrician and the PT, we feel that it is not a pathological or neurological problem. He can hold his head up in a prone position and doesn't have low muscle tone in the rest of his body, so it is probably just one of those things where he is on the low end of normal for muscle strength in his neck. We'll keep an eye on him, but all the experts who deal with him are sure there is nothing to worry about. That's a big relief!

We had an ENT appointment that afternoon. I did ask about his MRI results and she confirmed they were totally normal. She is concerned about the drop in hearing level and wants another booth test before we see her again in January. We'll be monitoring his hearing levels every three months until he stabilizes. She does feel his loss is genetic due to the symmetry and odd configuration. She also said they used to see a lot of 2-3 year olds show up with severe/profound losses out of nowhere, and the number of these supposedly "acquired" cases of deafness have dropped substantially since the inception of the newborn hearing screening program. She said a lot of these losses were actually mild or moderate losses that progressed and were then found at the age of 2 or 3. Interesting to know, though we hope that Nolan's hearing won't deteriorate any more than it already has. His aids work really well for him right now, and we hope it stays that way. We're prepared for the alternative if it should continue to progress, and know that he'll be just fine no matter what.

We're still battling the weight issue, which hasn't been helped by a recent stomach bug. We are getting about 10 ounces of milk into him every day, but that is still far short of the recommended 24 ounces from the pediatrician. I think my son and I need to switch diet strategies!


Megan said...

We did our 15 month old video today for Luca's intervention program. They video taped him for 30 minutes to get a baseline for his language development and then will also analysis it. Should be interesting. Are you guys doing something like this in a few months?

Also, I've been imitating Luca sounds a lot and it seems to be working wonders for his babbling. If he says, gaga, so do I and we make a game out of it. We tried and tried to get Luca to repeat sounds in therapy and he did ok, but playing with him and repeating his own sounds seems to done wonders.

So when we did the video today, they really got a lot of good sounds to review.

tammy said...

Don't you just love sessions like this?! It just makes the time to the next session that much better! I love our therapist too ... I'd take her home if she'd let me!

Aiden has that whole "head lag" issue too. He's doing everything else he should, but has trouble keeping that head straight, and he's one of the few grandkids that has a small head! heehee!

Glad to hear his MRI results were normal!

leahlefler said...

Megan, that sounds like a great idea! We only have one therapist, and we were lucky to get one that has any experience with hearing impaired kids. He isn't due for his annual evaluation until January (he'll be 16-17 months then, depending on the timing). I might tape him babbling anyway, just for later comparison. We've been losing and then regaining sounds, so it would be good to have a permanent record of his babble somewhere!

Tammy- good to know someone else is dealing with head lag! Nolan's has slowly been getting better, but it definitely still drops back when you pick him up or lay him down! Kids were just built to make their parents worry!

Christian's Mommy said...

So happy to hear you have a great therapist! It makes all the difference, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

We had the head lag issue as well, though Ethan was referred to PT and has been in ever since. He has other motor issues to deal with, but the head lag took care of itself over the course of time. I think it's pretty common for children with a hearing loss, something to do with the vestibular system trying to adjust to the loss. So glad you are loving your therapist! Good for Nolan!