Thursday, May 12, 2011

Developmental Pediatrician Update

Yesterday's appointment went well. My mom was able to come with us, which was a huge help. We got there around 10:30am after a 2 hour drive, and I was pleased to find that the Children's Center was well equipped for kids that have to wait around for awhile. Adjacent to the waiting room there was a HUGE children's play area. Train tables, books, art center, doll houses, castle the kids could climb around in. There was even a lady playing the guitar. So while Luke and I saw the doctor, my mom and Cody stayed out there to enjoy the fun.

The appointment mostly consisted of the nurse asking me 101 questions about Luke's health history. Thankfully I was smart enough to type everything up the night before, because I would have forgotten a few things otherwise. It's amazing how easily your mind can go blank when you least want it to.

Once we were done with that, the doctor came in. He had Luke do a few puzzles (which Luke breezed through - the doctor remarked at how intelligent he is), and asked me a few more questions. He said he wasn't concerned with Luke's height, since my husband and I are both short. He is concerned with his weight though, he says Luke is much too lean for his height. He gave us a list of ideas for pushing high calories, so that is our mission.

Then he went on to ask me if Luke's speech therapist has ever mentioned Apraxia. She didn't, but I did ask her about it. I've been reading about Childhood Apraxia of Speech for a few weeks now. I stumbled across it online one night, and to me it describes Luke very well. When I asked his ST about it, she said there weren't any "clear" signs, but that there are some signs. 2.5 is young for diagnosing it.

Anyway, the developmental pediatrician feels that Luke has Apraxia. I wasn't surprised, because as I mentioned, I've been wondering about it for awhile. He will be sending me a letter with his diagnosis and recommendations in it, and my hope is that it will help us to get more hours from Early Intervention for Luke's speech therapy.

It's funny, because leaving the doctor's office the apraxia label didn't phase me. Once I got home thogh, it hit me hard. Apraxia is a neurological issue, instead of a developmental for plain old speech delays. Some kids have it so severely that they don't talk for quite a long time. Some are in speech therapy throughout their childhood. And for some it leads to other learning disabilities down the road. Luke's doesn't appear to be severe, because he occasionally picks up a new word. But the thought of him having one more thing to struggle through is upsetting.

I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon and evening thinking about things.  Will Luke learn to talk easily with the new ST approach?  Or will I still be hoping for a conversation with him when he starts Kindergarten?  It made me wonder if I can do for Luke everything that he will need.  Will I be driven enough to make sure that he gets what he deserves from Early Intervention, and then the school system when he transitions?  Can I be the loud mama that he needs me to be, to speak for him?  My conclusion was, you better believe it. 

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