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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Speech...worries galore

In previous post I have spoken about my son's lack of speech. He says perhaps a little over twenty words and although some are understandable to other people then his parents, it still isn't what I'd exactly call in the vocabulary range when you compare it to other children my son's age.

A little over a month ago I called Child Find, as they are a county organization that helps children in the preschool age range assess and help any children with developmental delays. I am so thankful and feel so blessed I live in a county that actually offers these services. Thankfully we were able to meet a few weeks after my initial call and during the meeting I had a few discussions with a social worker, an assessment from a psychologist and went in front of a small board to get the approval to move to the next step. I can not praise their professionalism or love of trying to help children enough. They really have an awesome system in place. Thankfully we were approved to go to the next step, which was to get a hearing test (for precautions) and meet with a speech therapist so she/he can determine the therapy needs.

I would say a week or two after we were approved by the board, I got two phone calls in one week to schedule the hearing test and the speech therapist appointment. I was able to get the hearing test scheduled THAT week and the speech therapist appointment would be after the new year (we were approaching the Christmas holiday which was obviously understandable). I honestly was so appreciative to see us moving towards that next step because I was told during the board approval meeting that I may not hear from them until maybe February.

I had to work (grrr) the day my son had his hearing test done, so my husband took him in. The kiddo is two and with two year olds (as most of us know) they are unpredictable especially in new environments. Unfortunately it was one of those days my little guy decided to pitch the BIGGEST fit of his little life. He was just not having it. Although the tests weren't 100% conclusive (because of the temper tantrum), basically it summed up that my son could hear louder tones but not lower tones. Now this could be because of the temper tantrum but having doing some of our own initial tests at home...he really can't hear when I speak quietly to him. That makes me sad....really sad. However, at the hearing test the lady told us there may be an issue with the middle section of his ear...perhaps fluid or ear wax and to go see an ENT. I should of saw one a while ago...why didn't I? Something I should have done...should have pushed for. Its one of those things you kind of kick yourself for not doing something earlier...but then again I was just waiting for my little guy's vocabulary to just explode almost overnight like I have read on so many forums, blogs, etc in that past when researching speech development for his age range.

So we're now on the hunt for a new ENT. Know any good ones? My husband tried calling one that day but kept being put on hold and then hung up on...not a good sign. I am praying and hoping like anything there is something that can easily be done about my son's ear...perhaps it just needs to have some earwax removed or something simplistic like that. I hope...and I pray.

I guess I sort of have a new connection with my Mom in this sense. Twenty six years ago she went through the same thing with me. I didn't hear and my speech was seriously lacking (though not as much as my son's) and very much garbled. I ended up having tubes three times as a small child. My son hasn't had them as his ear infection I guess were either too far apart and his pediatricians maybe just aren't the type to jump to surgery. I am okay with that...but if a kid needs it...I look for their professional opinion to guide me.

A story that pains me and makes me wonder about my own son is when I was very little and had just gotten tubes put in my ears. I had came home and was playing on the porch. My Mom noticed I was looking around as I heard birds chirping and had one of those "what is that" looks. My Mom summarized that I had never heard birds chirping and I was wondering what that noise was. Now it pains me to think...does my son not hear the birds chirping? Does he not hear the beautiful different quiet sounds of the little world he lives in? that hurts...and hurts deep. I wish like anything I could take that problem away from him and give him my "good ears" so he can hear properly. What a Mom wouldn't do for her children...I'd walk through fire for him.

So we're on the road to finding an ENT and figuring out what is the problem with my son's ear. I pray to God that this is easily helped. I feel as a Mum (I spelled it wrong on purpose)that you can never do quite enough to help your kids...especially in this situation. Obviously I am going through all the processes and procedures to do everything and anything I can for him, but its taking a while to finalize it. I wish I could do everything in less then a week. Obviously thats asking for quite a bit. I just want to fight like mad for him. Make sure he's okay. Do what I can for him and remember to have a little more patience.

So my advice to any parents reading this board...if your child has a speech delay and hasn't seen an ENT...go see one NOW. Also, contact Child Find because as much as it hurts your parental pride in admitting anything is not 100% perfect with your child...they really are wonderful.

I'll keep you posted on whats to come.

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