Into thin air.... and Early Intervention
Well I think I've gone far too long with out getting on here to post! I went out to California for a greatly needed vacation! So that whole time, I went through Internet withdrawals and thought I'd be hopping back on immediately when I returned home! But it has been even crazier and busier than it was before I left!
The thing that has kept me most busy since I've been back? Early Intervention. It's a federal program that evaluates children under the age of 3 for developmental delays. If there is enough delay in any area(s) to warrant a need to be treated, appropriate therapy begins.
My son is NOT a talker. Not even a little. He only says "mama" at almost 17 months old, and it sounds very forced. He reserves it only for desperate times- like when he thinks I'm leaving with out him! :) I was confused for a long time trying to figure out what I was doing wrong! I am a stay at home mom; I talk to him and read to him practically all day! And I limit his TV time to about 1 hour a day of either sesame street or baby Einstein. So for a while I wouldn't let him have ANY TV hoping that may help. He went a whole week at one point with out even seeing so much as 5 minutes of CNN (which we often have on here)! It has seriously been driving me crazy. I've never pushed him (unfortunately my husband has), but I did notice he understands SOOOOO much of what I am saying! So I tried to figure that maybe since he could understand SO much, that maybe he just did not want to talk (seeing as how he is so stubborn). Also I had noticed that any sound he tried to make came from his throat while he kept his lips tightly closed, so it got me even more curious...
Finally I got him evaluated by Early Intervention. As it turns out, his delay isn't related to anything I have or have not done. Lol, just lucky old genetics! : ) He has low muscle tone, which apparently affects all his fine motor skills. He understands language and things in general around a 20 month old level, but "speaks" at a 9 month old level. It took a lot of confusing questions to his evaluators and speech therapist to understand completely what was going on. I guess people with low muscle tone have much more flexible muscles; from my understanding, that means that until they are very strong it gives them little control over fine, small movements. It has not affected his gross motor skills in any way- he was an early sitter, and average crawler & walker. The only thing he has trouble with is using his facial muscles to make the correct shapes and openings to talk; and making small controlled movements with his fingers.
And now the even better news! At his first speech therapy appointment, the therapist said he actually isn't even bad enough to need speech therapy! As long as he is actually functioning at his ability level, he is fine. All he needs, she said, is to get stronger. She taught me a lot of ways to exercise his facial muscles through the way he eats. It is so time consuming, but we have already seen great improvements in such a short time! He never used to bite all the way through foods or chew (I thought he was lazy! lol), but now he is doing both of those things! And he seems to be trying to babble with us more often! I also have hope that since the snow and bad winter weather is gone, more exercise at the park will help this summer! I was told the stronger he gets in his core muscles, the stronger his jaw will also become!
The last reason for my long absence.... unbelievable nausea! I never had it in my first pregnancy; so it hit me like a shocking ton of bricks! I have been nauseous all day, every day (save for 1 miracle day last week!) for the last 4 weeks almost. I am quite ready for all that to be done. :) It has kept me from wanting to do just about anything and everything! :)
I hope everyone has had a great month of May! Sorry I have missed out on everything- I hope to catch up on everyone's blogs!
Jill is an Air Force veteran and mom to 2 boys (one with autism). She currently homeschools both and is pursuing a degree in biology. When their homeschool journey is complete, she plans to teach high school biology.