Wednesday, September 28, 2011

failed audiology

Sweets failed her audiology this morning.

The test looks like this: We sit in a booth, she on my lap as though I was a chair. The audiologist watches through a window. He plays sounds - music, tones, or white noise - from speakers coming from the front two corners of the room. If Sweets hears the sound, she would presumably look in the direction it came from. If she looks to the correct corner, a box in that corner lights up and shows her a toy (such as a teddy bear or monkey).

She had her first one at 12 months, which she passed just fine, and then one at 20 months that she passed but didn't respond to all the sounds (music better than tones). And now this time she did not respond to many of the sounds unless they were loud, and the ones she did notice she couldn't localize. It could be that she just wasn't very interested in the noises and didn't care to look for them I guess. She fussed too much to put anything in her ears to test them individually, which she has never allowed yet. The audiologist did seem a little concerned today

The audiologist wanted me to take her right to the ped to have her ears looked at to see if she has an ear infection or fluid that could be affecting the test. So we went straight there and they looked, but said that she doesn't have anything. Just a "slightly thickened" ear drum on the left side, which can indicate a prior infection, but could also be normal. Her right side was totally in the clear.

So we will go back to the audiologist in a month and just re-test her. I'm not sure what else we can do on a kid this age. I do feel like she can hear me, and she definitely enjoys music. But this might explain some of her speech delay issues, if it turns out she has some hearing difficulties.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New speech therapist, new school

Sweets has been with her new speech therapist for a month now. Her old SLP moved away, and this one is from the same agency. A week after starting with the new therapist, Sweets started at CLC. This is the developmental preschool. It is on the same campus as Munchkin's elementary school, making it super convenient for us too. They are 50% typical and 50% special needs there, and the lead teacher in each room is certified in special ed. So even though we dropped our developmental therapy in July, I feel like she is still getting a similar service by being at CLC. If Sweets qualifies for developmental day on her IEP, then she will be able to go to this school for free, but for now we pay full tuition.

I am happy with her care there. She seems to be enjoying it. She seems to be making "friends" as much as that is possible for her. A few of the children seem to get excited to see her when we come in each morning. Several of them also have similar delays to Sweets.

They are using our cloth diapers and seem to have totally adjusted to that. They were nervous at first because they haven't had a kid in cloth diapers for like 20 years or something (!!). But they were willing to try and they are doing fine. They are using more diapers than at our previous home daycare because our previous care provider had Sweets going pant-less a lot of the day trying to help her learn to use the potty. Sweets is pretty good about staying dry if she is not wearing a diaper, and she will sit on the potty, but she WILL NOT pee in the potty. I don't think she really gets what she is supposed to be doing even. When she has to go, she will request a diaper (by signing CHANGE). They do let her try to use the potty at CLC, but they tend to keep her in diapers all day otherwise.

Surprisingly, the staff here do not really know much sign language, and there are not other kids who sign. I would have expected that to be more common in a school like this. They seem willing to learn, but in the time that she has been there they tell me that she doesn't really sign very much anyway. I don't know if that is because she is using speech so much more, or because they don't understand her signs so she isn't doing it because it doesn't work, or maybe she really is signing and they just don't realize it.

CLC does have their own therapists, but they do not accept our insurance so we are not using them. They do not mind that we bring in our own outside therapist. If Sweets qualifies for IEP services, then she will be able to use the school therapist for no cost to us once she turns 3.

Like our previous SLP, our new one is also in her fellowship year. Some people, like our CDSA coordinator, don't seem to like that and would prefer to work with more experienced therapists. But really, I don't mind at all. They may not have a lot of experience, but they are fresh out of school where they have just learned the most up-t0-date techniques and theories. They are fresh and young and excited and have big ideas! They also have to be supervised by an experienced SLP, which means that there is another person with experience monitoring Sweets' case.

I like the new therapist. I have only observed her therapy once so far because it is less convenient for me to observe at CLC being that it is further from my job. I did talk to her by phone for about an hour the other evening and gave her some information and history on Sweets that hadn't been passed on to her in the switch. We discussed that with the current rate of Sweets' progress, I was wondering if she would even qualify for IEP once she turned 3. It seems like so much progress to me, but I don't have a good handle on what is "typical" anymore. She said that she thought Sweets would qualify, if only for articulation delay, but possibly for language delay as well. But that is still 6 months away, so it is hard to predict. But it is almost time to start thinking about the transition from early intervention to IEP.