Friday, July 2, 2010
Not long ago I wrote this post looking for guidance and thoughts on putting Aiden into an additional speech therapy. First, let me say THANK YOU to all who responded! I love this amazing community we are all a part of and the open advice/guidance we provide one another!
Soon before I wrote that post I had no qualms about it, in fact, we were very excited this highly recommended therapist finally had an opening for Aiden. Being the OW (obsessive worrier) type of person I am when it comes to my kids, I decided I didn't do my homework well enough (due to completely forgetting about the first appointment until 15 minutes before it, which led to me NOT being prepared mentally or physically) to make a final decision, and hence, my fret all about it.
After a weekend of wondering and hearing back from all of you, I decided I needed to speak with Miss Cheryl again, so I called her, this time much more prepared.
I was very upfront and honest explaining I was nervous about mixing philosophies, about confusing Aiden, about her plan for him, about having "too much" therapy, and how I truly didn't know her background except for what I'd heard from others. We spoke for nearly an hour.
She had a very impressive background, attending Galludet and George Washington Univ. She's worked with kids with hearing loss, but Aiden would be her first bilateral CI kiddo. We spoke of how far technology has come. She told me she'd like to get in contact with Aiden's AV therapist and take some auditory verbal classes for her continuing education classes this fall.
She told me she'd been thinking of Aiden since we left ... how amazed she was with his excellent vocal quality and thresholds; how his speech production is very close to his chronological age, yet right on for his hearing age; how she shouldn't use much sign at all with him since HE'S A DEAF CHILD LEARNING TO LISTEN AND SPEAK and how it would be easier for him to sign than to speak, so she will refrain from using sign unless she sees it as a means to an end (which we do too). Overall, she'd like to approach him as a child with a mild expressive speech delay due to low muscle tone (which affects his breathing and therefore expressive speech ... this is why Aiden will sometimes make that annoying high pitched "gasping for air" sound when trying to speak) and minor oral motor issues (and of course, him being deaf).
We will continue full force on our AV path. We have a WONDERFUL AV therapist who teaches us ways to continuously incorporate language opportunities into everything we do. In the same sense, I believe Miss Cheryl will complement this program well working on other areas such as Aiden's breathing patterns, duration and pitch, and as time tells, articulation.
In the end, we agreed that a trial period of eight weeks would be a good amount of time to see if we are a fit for each other and reevaluate where we want to go from there. I feel good going forward and hope this does work out ... especially since she's our only therapist less than 30 minutes away!