I have been a terrible blogger.
So much has been going on in our lives that I haven’t blogged about, I feel like beginning again is like starting to read a book in the middle – you have no idea what happened previously.
But instead of catching you all up, I’m just going to dive in with NOW.
Yesterday, Ronan had a developmental evaluation. We scheduled it because we had concerns about his speech, but the evaluation covered all areas of his development – gross motor, fine motor, emotional/social, problem solving, self-care and speech. The evaluation team was here for about 2 hours, and we watched as they interacted with Ronan at a 2 year old level. They would pull out a puzzle or activity that they wanted him to try, and begin playing with it – instead of telling him “Come here and do this puzzle!”, he would see them playing and want to play too. They did shapes, blocks, picture books, kicked a ball, ran up and down the halls, played with a doll, a puppy… all sorts of neat activities. Ronan was excited every time they pulled out something new, constantly exclaiming “Oooh! Whasssat?!” and “Oh, WOOOOOOOOW!”
When the evaluation was over, they gave us the results immediately. In all areas of his development, Ronan is on track or ahead – he ranged from 24-30 months in every category except speech. Obviously we expected there to be a delay, as we were the ones who requested the evaluation, but it was kind of shocking to hear exactly how far behind he is. His communication skills are in the 12-15 month range.
So what does this mean? Ronan will be in speech therapy. There are a lot of unanswered questions right now, but the therapist that did the evaluation said she suspects Ronan has something call Childhood Apraxia of Speech. That means that he doesn’t have a normal speech delay, one in which he would eventually catch up even if he had no help, but instead has an actual speech ‘problem’. The bare bones of it is that his brain has the ability to speak, and his mouth has the capability of speaking, but the connection between the two isn’t there. With no help, and no therapy, he would likely not progress beyond the speech level he has right now.
It’s overwhelming, and emotional. It is difficult being told that there is something wrong with your child, and imagining the road ahead to normalcy. I am trying to keep a positive outlook and a little perspective – he has difficulty talking. There are people who are going through much worse. Yes, it will take a long time to help him get to where he should be naturally, but we have the ability to help him. We will work with him. We will MAKE SURE he gets the help he needs in order to have the best chance possible.
There are a lot of unanswered questions. We don’t know when we will start the therapy. We wont know when or if he will ever actually be given a diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech. We don’t know what it will take in order for him to NOT get that diagnosis.
We have already been given a lot of tips and advice to help him, and have already seen a huge improvement in his attempts at communication. Today, in the two hours he’s been awake, he’s already said cheese, apple, watermelon, good… I have the feeling things are going to just get better and better.
I’m going to try to update more often. It’s frustrating for me not to get things out. Miss Ruby Kate has been seeing a chiropractor for her car-seat screaming, and we’ve seen some big changes. She now poops every day(!) and sleeps on car rides. Spine manipulation – who knew, right?