When you have a child with a speech and language issue, they have their own way of communicating...their own way of pronouncing sounds...their own way of speaking...and you become very proficient in this new language. This blog is all about "THEIR words, THEIR way"...simple as that.
On her due date, for that matter.
All 6 lbs 8 oz of her.
With the biggest hazel eyes and eyelashes to die for!
My special girl.
With Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Some cognitive delays.
Throw in some Sensory Issues here and there.
My little buddy.
The hardest worker you will ever meet.
A little lover and hugger.
And the sweetest girl you will EVER know.
My second born.
My little man.
Well, I don't think he was ever that little.
All 7 lbs 12 oz of him.
Born 2 two weeks early because he wanted to arrive early.
So he made me pre-eclamptic.
Oh, so sick.
But all is good now.
He has some special needs of his own.
Guess he didn't want to be "different" than his big sister.
So he chose to get my attention.
He chose to have ear infections.
A total of nine in all, over a six-month period.
Throw in a little hearing loss, which he has since regained.
And is now about 9-12 months delayed in speech.
He is my little man.
A little lover.
With a little temper to match.
He's my boy!
OK, so the other day, Kaitlyn told me that she was having "beeping" in her ear. Hmmm? That's strange. She was holding her index finger in her right ear and was quite persistant that there was a "beep" in her ear. This was Tuesday. On Wednesday, she said the same thing. Ditto for Thursday. By Friday, she was a mess. I had a feeling that she was really telling me the truth now, but I wish I didn't wait so long to take the appropriate action. So off we go to the pediatrician's office. Yes, I need stock in that office, or at least a bed in the back room with all the time that I have been spending there in the past six months. Sure enough, Kaitlyn was right. The "beeping" in her right ear is being caused by the excessive amount of fluid that is currently in there. Oh, and her left ear is infected! No fever to indicate that one to me, but nonetheless, it is infected. Now we are on an antibiotic and a decongestant as well as a nasal spray for this latest ailment.
As for the ENT Appointment, that is taking place on Thursday, April 2nd. This was just a random appointment that I made since little Andrew is being seen for the possibility of tubes (*Note: he has had eight ear infections since October). My intent of her being seen as well was for him to get a gander at her large tonsils as well as maybe another hearing test and removal of excess wax. Great timing!
My insurance company really hates me, that is for sure!
Yes, sir, we are making progress. Albeit slow, we are making progress. Lately, Kaitlyn has had a language explosion and it is really neat to hear her try and tell a story and to elaborate on questions rather than just saying "yes" and "no". It is so cute when she is telling a story and inserts "Um" and "and" in there, like she is really putting thought into what she will say next.
This is a long road, and one huge up-hill battle. But, at this point, it looks as though we are pulling ahead of the game for a change. I am hoping that this is not a temporary language burst, but rather the beginning of many more stories to come. We really have our private therapist to credit for this progress. Kaitlyn loves her! And Jill really knows how to get Kate to work to her full potential. Oh, dear. What are we going to do in August when Kaitlyn goes to school full-time? Will we be able to squeeze sessions in with Jill somewhere? I don't want to think about it right now. I will just sit here and enjoy what I am hearing (finally!)
Not directed at me, but towards Kaitlyn and then a side look at me. Confused? Let me tell you what happened last night:
Kaitlyn and I went to Blockbuster Video to rent a movie. Lately, she likes to describe the various things that she sees. What a good little speech therapy student! So I play the game.
Kaitlyn: "Doggie. BIG dog." Me: "Yes, Kate, it is a big dog." Kaitlyn: "Bushes. One, two, three bushes." Me: "Yes, Kaitlyn, those are bushes. But I think there are more. Let's count them again."
And so on and so on. However, last night, she decided that she wanted to give me the ESPN/Sportcenter Play-By-Play of every different color shirt that she saw in Blockbuster. Deep breath.....this is where consonant deletion can get you in trouble, or at least a few strange looks.
Can you see what consonant she is deleting???? Can you see why I was getting some looks, both strange and dirty from some people? Lord, help me.
Me: "Yes, Kaitlyn. That is a blue shirt. Use ALL your sounds, please." Me: "Good job, Kaitlyn. She is wearing a green shirt. Where is your /r/ sound?" Me: "Kaitlyn, you are doing a great job with your colors. Now let's work on your missing letters, OK?"
I don't think they are going to let me rent a movie at Blockbuster for a while.
Diabetic. Allergic to Bee Stings. Blood Type. Never, ever, did I once think that I would need one of these. But after someone brought it to my attention, I thought to myself "You Idiot! Why didn't you think of that?" If for some God-awful reason my daughter was separated from an adult who knows her and can translate her "language", how is she going to tell someone that she is lost? Her name? Her phone number? HOW FRIGHTENING! The thought makes my heart stop.
stranger: "What's your name, honey?" Kaitlyn: "Tay-Tin" stranger: "What?" Kaitlyn: "Tay-Tin" stranger: "Are you lost?" Kaitlyn: "Yes" stranger: "What is your name, sweetie?" Kaitlyn: "Tay Tin" (Stranger now has confused-dog look on their face). Kaitlyn: "Me-mean?" (Translation: you don't know what I mean, do you?).
The above picture is the EXACT bracelet that I bought for Kaitlyn (although it says "Kaitlyn" and not "Lauren"). After Googling different bracelet sites, including the nationally known brand that charges you a yearly fee in order to get one, I came across http://www.creativemedicalid.com/kidz_collection?b=1
For a smaller fee, you have a great selection of bracelets for both boys and girls. I was worried that they would all look, well, medical. But the one that we purchased is very girlie and pink with pink crystals and a little butterfly. In fact, we call it Kaitlyn's "Butterfly Bracelet". On the front side we had her name engraved. On the back side, we just wrote "Speech Delay" and our home phone number.
At first, she balked at the idea of wearing it. She couldn't take it off herself. "Off! Mommy, off!" I would hear over and over. A few tears here and there. But after an hour of moaning about it, she wore it and stopped complaining. And she is still wearing it.
I guess I can't think of everything. And I am sure one day she will no longer have to wear that silly bracelet. But, for now, I am at ease knowing that everyday people recognize medical bracelets and their importance.
Sometimes, with all the hustle and bustle of running Kaitlyn to school and speech therapy and every other activity we have her in to help with the myriad of issues she has, we seem to forget one important thing: Andrew. Andrew is the little brother of the house. At the ripe age of 18 months old, he has only known this type of busy life. The poor guy lives in the car seat!
I am assuming that he is typically developing, but I only have Kaitlyn's deviations from the norm to compare him to. Kate never crawled; Andrew crawled at 9 months. Kate walked at 16.5 months; Andrew was off and running by his first birthday. She wasn't much of a babbler, yet Andrew babbles non-stop and speaks to everyone willing to listen in what is best described as Chinese, Cantonese, or Mandarin language. His receptive language is amazing, but so was Kaitlyn's when she was his age.
I do worry, however, that we will be heading down the same road as Kaitlyn. At the age of 18 months, shouldn't there be more "spoken language"? Granted, he does say "Da", "done" and "all done" appropriately. But there is a small iota of fear in the back of my mind. All parents think like that, don't they?