Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Smorgasbord of Updates
Not posting in awhile PLUS tons of unfinished posts sitting out in Never, Never Land EQUALS stress in my OCD mind. To clear my head and stop the massive pile up of posts screaming to be finished, I decided to sum it all up in one, which is probably best since I'll be to the point and not ramble on like I often can.
1) Vacation! - Let's start with the important things first. ; ) Aiden's daddy and I just got back from a much needed get-away to Vegas with my husband's sister and her husband. It was our first trip without kids AND without going to see family in over 10 years! Our 16 year anniversary is coming up (smile) and they just celebrated their 10 year (smile). Aiden's awesome grandma drove in from Wisconsin to stay with the kids while we flew off to Sin City. I didn't realize how worn out I was until my body took over my fun and went into complete relax mode. I did more laying in the sun and sleeping than anything else. My mom did a FABULOUS job in keeping up with Aiden's CIs, participating in his therapies, and by the time she left, he even had some new vocabulary added to his growing list. We all had an amazing time, came back more relaxed and are now ready for the beach!
2) New Audiologist - We decided to switch Aiden's audiology center from Cincinnati Children's to Cleveland Clinic strictly for convenience. We loved the audiologist we had in Cinci, but traveling two hours west one week then two hours north another was wearing. Our newest audiologist was trained and highly recommended from our old one, works hand in hand with Aiden's AVT, Dr. Don, AND is training to be an AV under him as well. So not only is she Aiden's new audiologist, she participates in his Saturday AV therapies as well. She is absolutely wonderful with Aiden and he responds very well to her.
3) Mapping Madness - A few weeks ago we had a third audiology appointment within six weeks. We're still trying to get Aiden's maps back on track and with the looks of his latest audiogram, we're well on the way. I was shocked Dr. Rachel got results across the board like this because the boy wouldn't sit still and really wanted nothing to do with the testing. So I'm sure they're even better than what the audiogram below shows, which would put him hearing between 20 and 25db across the board! We go back in a couple weeks for AV therapy and another audiology appt. to confirm these results and make any necessary mapping adjustments.
4. Speech Therapy - Back in early summer I debated adding on more of a traditional speech therapy for Aiden and decided to go ahead and try it for six to eight weeks. Well, we are going to continue with Ms. Cheryl as we absolutely see a difference in Aiden's overall tone and breath control. She has been amazing at providing us ideas on how to work with Aiden's sensory issues and low muscle tone which are affecting his motor planning skills and therefore his speech production. We know Aiden gets it receptively. He's well above age level in his receptive language. It's expressive where he lacks. He is starting to speak in a lot of two/three word sentences, it's just that you can't understand a lot of them (unless it is something that has become very repetitive for him, such as "get down" or "all done" or "it's stuck"). If he were to say each of the two or three words separately, you'd understand each one pretty well. But when he goes to put two or more words together, they come out all jumbled. We brought up the concern of apraxia, but she doesn't see it in Aiden. She is also helping us with specific speech sounds (right now we're working on /p/). Since we've been seeing her, Aiden is now producing a perfect "ee" and can hold a sound for a much longer duration AND at different pitches; something he couldn't do before.
5. Auditory Verbal Therapy - We continue to see Dr. Don two times a month. We drive to Cleveland once a month so Aiden's daddy or siblings can participate in a Saturday session, and then to the college where Dr. Don teaches once a month which is closer to home. This man is amazing and Aiden responds very well to him. We're blessed to have him on our team. Right now we're working on 1) identifying "ing" verbs and using them in simple sentences such as, "The boy is riding.", 2) sorting higher level groups such as types of animals (farm vs. water vs. zoo/jungle) and fruits vs. vegetables and 3) discriminating between similar sounding words, such as house and mouth, 4) story telling through Aiden's daily experience book (which I'll detail in a separate post).
5. PT and OT - Six months ago my son couldn't walk on or off a one inch floor mat without falling. He would have to completely stop, throw his arms out for balance, then carefully walk up or down. One inch. Many days he walked around like a drunken sailor. He could barely run and definitely couldn't jump. There's not a better time to see improvements in gross motor than summertime. Parks, play dates outside, riding bikes, climbing, running up and down hills, camping, swimming, etc. This summer we saw TREMENDOUS gains in Aiden's gross motor. He is now RUNNING, jumping (well more like trotting, but sometimes he'll get both feet off the ground), and best of all - he's PEDALING his tricycle! He still has some off balance days, but he's learning to compensate for them and is finally keeping up physically with his peers.
With his gross motor gains and ideas from his wonderful PT to continue to work on at home, we're going to stop PT for awhile and pick up OT, but this time with a therapist who specializes solely with sensory integration. Sensory is such a beast to understand and can affect so much, including speech production. I don't feel like I have a good handle on it and need a lot better guidance on how I can help Aiden conquer his sensory needs in order to move forward with his expressive language and speech production ... oh and learning how to calm his major hyperness/daredevil ways wouldn't hurt either.
6. Transition Time - I CANNOT BELIEVE we're at the point of leaving county services and beginning to look at PRESCHOOLS! To me, this means Aiden is almost THREE and growing up way too fast! I'm in the process of touring local preschools (more to come on this) and at the end of this month we'll have our transition planning conference with our local school district. It is a very brief meeting which we'll introduce ourselves and let them know which preschools we'll be touring as well as where we would like Aiden's evaluation done to determine eligibility of services.
7. and the best for last - Aiden. Aiden is taking off. His vocabulary is growing daily (I know. I SO need to update that vocab. list to the right), he is reaching the goals set for him, and you can just see his little brain constantly in discovery mode. He knows his colors, his shapes, his numbers (not just rote counting, but identifies them written up to 10) and is starting to recognize certain letters. He's having little conversations with us. He tells his brother, sister, and the cats what to do, he tells everything bye-bye (except his therapists, because why on earth would he talk to them?), and is starting to express his wants and needs so much more than he ever has. He has finally learned to EXPRESS the word NO ... and as he says it, he signs it just as fast! Dr. Don says he's on the verge of a 2-3 word sentences language explosion, "Deafness, shmeffness", he says, "he hears and speaks better than many hearing kids I know."
I love this journey.