The end of a process | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, October 03, 2008

The end of a process

Later this morning, I will be going to meet with the nurse, the speech therapist and the early intervention director person to discuss their plan for Sophia. We had her hearing test (to rule out hearing issues being the cause of speech issues) on Monday afternoon and she passed with flying colors just as I knew she would.

Anyway, we shall see what they all decide. I'm glad to finally be at the end of this process, and I thought I'd share a little bit more about what led me to get her tested in the first place.

While I was worried for a while about her lack of words, she really exploded vocabulary wise a little while ago. So then I stopped worrying. I just chalked it all up to the fact that Sophie has totally been different developmentally than my older girls. They were very verbal, but she was very active and busy, which they were not. Etcetera. However, there was still a nagging in the back of my mind that something wasn't quite right where her speech was concerned.

I really dislike being the overreactive parent who rushes to the doctor for every little sniffle, and am often too laid back with things like this, so I really was surprised by my general unease about the whole thing. So, I started really listening and studying the way her speech was developing, and the way she articulated words and sounds.

I learned that she rarely put the ending consonants on words. If it was an "m" or "n" sound it might be there, and a few other consonants would randomly show up on words she had been saying for a very long time. I learned that she can't do consonant clusters at all (and wasn't really sure if a 2 year old should be able to, but I noticed it). I learned that she has no trouble at all with vowel sounds, and often drops all the consonants in a word. I learned that if you ask her to say a word she is not familiar with or has never said, she either refuses to try or says something totally and completely unlike the word you just asked her to say. I learned that if you break apart that same word to general sounds, and then syllables, that she will be much more successful at repeating it correctly. I learned that if we practice certain words together, eventually she is able to say them more clearly.

Armed with that knowledge, and the fact that she has a vast vocabulary, but that I can't understand over half of it, I began the evaluation process. It turns out that she most likely has a mild form of apraxia of speech. In the simplest of terms, it just means there is some difficulty figuring out how to put sounds together in order to form words. Some with this disorder cannot form any consonants at all, and others just have difficulty stringing words together to make sentences. At this point, Sophie falls somewhere in between.

Ever since the speech therapist came and observed/evaluated her, we have been working on Sophie's speech at home, using some of the strategies we were given by the therapist. I am amazed by how much she has improved in just two weeks, and I am obviously encouraged, as well. She went from calling Ashley, (my sister-in-law), A-A, to saying Ashy. She also went from not even attempting to say her own name, to calling her self Shishi. However, if we break it into So and Fi, she can say both sounds quite well, she just can't put them together yet. She is really trying...you can see the concentration in her eyes as she tries to repeat sounds and words that we say.

Anyway, I guess the moral of the story is to go with your gut, and risk being the mom who is overreacting about everything, even if you hate that as much as I do. Hopefully, we'll need very little therapy to resolve the issues, but I'll find out the plan in just a little while!

All I can say, is that I'm very excited to be able to understand everything this very talkative child is trying to tell me!

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15 comments :

  1. I think it's so smart to at least get an eval -- esp. when it's easy to work with them at home on these issues.
    Always.
    Always.
    Always.
    Your low blood sugared friend.

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  2. Moms are supposed to overact. That is our job. Our kids are the most important thing in our lives. You will be so glad to find out what they can do if anything. I remember AJ not talking hardly at all until he was 3 and worrying and worrying. Good luck.

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  3. Good for you! We went through that same process when Jaren was a year old and not crawling. He is totally fine now, but I am SO grateful that I bit the bullet and got him help and professionals to keep an eye on him. You've got a smart girl there!

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  4. You sound like a great, concerned mother, who is absolutely doing the right thing. I hope everything works out.

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  5. I have a friend whose son was diagnosed with a pretty severe form of apraxia four or five months ago. I'm glad you were able to catch it so early. (Although I don't mean to say "catch it" like a disease or something...sorry) I agree, you did the right thing. What a good mother Sophie has! (And Chloe and Bria, too)

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  6. You're a great mom to be so on top of things—I'm sure everything will work out for the best, especially since you're so dedicated to helping Sophie.

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  7. I'm rooting for you Shishi! Amazing the progress she already made. It makes me wonder if I should check out Gabriel now. He talks up a storm & I can understand a lot of it, but some is a mish mash.
    (Sarah Venturi is great to talk to about speech therapy also)

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  8. I'm excited to hear about the results. Such a cutie! Jonas is starting to say more and more, but it's VERY hard to understand. Usually I think I know what he's saying, but then I wonder if I'm just making it up in my mind to be what would work for the situation.

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  9. Excellent! I'm glad you went with your gut. I'm always suspicious of those gut feelings at first, but then sorry if I don't go by them!

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  10. does she have alot of ear infections? Kalyeigh had so much fluid in her ears that when they put the tubes in they pulled alot more than they thought. Im not even kidding, the next week she exploded in vocab.. just a thought. Good luck!! Take care

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  11. Nope. One ear infection ever in her life, but that was what the hearing test on Monday was for....just to make sure that she didn't have a hearing problem affecting her speech. They ruled her hearing just fine. That's awesome about Kayleigh, though. Chloe got tubes put in at 13 months, so I don't really know how it would have affected things had it been later.

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  12. I'm so glad you went with your gut. I love the early intervention program. I have no idea where I would be with out it. I'm so glad things are getting better.

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  13. I have a friend who's son has severe apraxia and despite that so many people told her she was overreacting before the diagnosis, she decided to go with her gut feelings. You totally did the right thing. I hope I could do the same. I tend to be a little reaction-less.

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  14. Lara, good for you for taking initiative and being so proactive about Sophie's speech!! I find it so inspiring to see a mother heavily involved in the development of her child. It's the way it should be, at least I think so. :)

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  15. I can't say enough about EI. Way to trust your gut and go for it. Mother's instincts mean a lot! From a professional with a background in speech-lang. development, and as parent of a child with hearing loss, all I can say is that was a big step, but a very very smart one. (I know I'm a totaly random person here- found your link from another blog I read)

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