Sunday, August 10, 2014

I'm blogging. Word.

There was this one time in January that I committed to blog more frequently throughout this year--but who sticks to their resolutions anyways?! I just wanted to be a statistic, I guess ;)

I feel like my little family is embarking on a new journey, though, and I want to be able to document the events to come. I started blogging during my walk through infertility, and I've always been so thankful for this outlet---the friends I made, the knowledge I gained.

Alan and I have had some concern with Wade's speech/communication development---being our second child I think we've had a tendency to compare everything to our first born (which I'm assuming is totally natural). Wade is 16-months-old and virtually says NO words. He says "mamamamama" and "dadadadada," but not even on a daily basis. It can be several days between the times I hear him call me "mamamamama." So what?! We chalked it up to being a late-talker, which from everything I have heard, is quite common with the second child. As time as progressed, a few more concerns arose---especially as we observed Wade in situations with his peers.

We found ourselves at an evaluation last week with Sooner Start Early Intervention Program. We met with an Occupational Therapist and a Speech Language Pathologist--both really sweet, knowledgeable ladies. I had NO idea what to expect during this evaluation, but I had a sense of calm about me the entire time. Basically, they observed and interacted Wade in a room with all sorts of toys and things for a little over an hour. I've already forgotten the name of the diagnosis/evaluation testing, but it was a standardized testing form---from the glances that I got at their paperwork, it almost looked like a scantron booklet with bubbles. They systematically tried to draw responses from Wade in accordance with the questions in their booklets. If that makes any sense to you at all---this is like a foreign language to me, so I'm having to educate myself as we go along with this process.

The conclusion was that Wade had a "developmental delay" in the area of communication. When I've tried to explain this to family members and friends the common response I've gotten is: "Just because he can't talk?!" Well, no.

Here are a couple points that were made to us as the therapists went over Wade's testing results:

-At this point, even though Wade doesn't use any words, he should be using his pointer finger to indicate things he wants. Wade CAN isolate his pointer finger, but he uses it haphazardly. Never once has he used it to point at anything in particular at home when questioned. This NEVER occurred me, honestly, but apparently this is a BIG milestone in infant communication. (Again, I'm learning as we go!)

-Wade does not recognize (or associate) common words to common objects. This is a tough one for me to explain, but I'll use the exact examples the therapists gave me. When asked, "Wade, where is your cup," they would expect Wade to show some sort of response towards his cup. He had no response at all. The same being for our dog, Bentley, and his brother, Cale. You can use those words to Wade: "Wade, where's Bentley?" and "Wade, where's Cale?", and there is no response. Again, those things NEVER occurred to me at home, but they are SO correct. Wade hasn't ever isolated things to us when asked.

Those were the two big points emphasized to Alan and I at the end the evaluation---so basically, it falls in the nonverbal and responsive communication category.

They explained to us that we are kind of left in a gray area. Does Wade not respond to these things because he's not comprehending them? Or because he can't hear appropriately? (He's obviously not deaf.)

He had a quick tympanogram done at the end of our evaluation, which left both ears in the "c" category. Basically saying that he has negative pressure in the middle ear space--can be caused by teething, ear infections, sinus congestion, etc. It doesn't mean anything about permanent hearing loss. In this case, he will have several of these repeated at different time intervals. Hopefully, at his next one, this problem will have corrected itself.

Next week our case worker and a child development specialist will come to our home and spend some time with our family in our normal environment. From my understanding, they will go back as a team and create a "treatment plan" for Wade.

In terms of hearing and ear things, I'm at a total loss though. Like I mentioned previously, it really is like a foreign language to me! I have NO idea what all the terminology means, so I've spent a good amount of time researching things. It's hard for me to be an advocate for Wade when I'm so clueless myself---so I'm trying to do the best I can by educating myself in the meantime.

Obviously this is not about me, but just in case you were wondering, I have been at total peace during this whirlwind of a process. I rest confidently knowing that God created my brown-eyed baby boy with big plans for his life! We are ready to tackle whatever the therapy team throws at us!  There are children fighting MUCH MUCH bigger medical battles than this, and I feel so blessed for Wade's great health.

I never know who will stumble across this little 'ol blog that might have walked this road before me, or who will find this blog post because they are struggling with similar issues with a child of their own. So, thanks for letting me throw all this information at you---and thanks for letting me document this journey!