Tuesday, October 23, 2012
After meeting with Noah's teacher and the school speech teacher Noah will be in speech therapy again.
Noah started getting ear infections when he was about 5 months old. After that first infection were were constantly at the doctor's office. As soon as he would get over one infection he would get a brand new one a few weeks later. It was a nightmare for both of us.
When he was one he had a procedure called myringotomy. Basically they insert a teeny tiny tube in the eardrum. It helps relieve pressure and helps the ear drain. His eustachian tubes were immature so when he was sick his middle ear couldn't drain properly.
After the surgery our world was so different. Well not really...but we did stop going to the doctor ALL the time and there were a lot less stay up with Noah while he cried nights. It was SO much better. One tiny tube in each year changed it all.
I didn't realize at the time that all of those ear infections would cause a speech delay. No one told me. I have nothing against military doctors...We've had some great and wonderful ones, but I've always felt they kind of rush you. I felt like I wasn't given all of the information that I should have been. So we continued our lives as we normally would. Let's jump ahead now a year and a half later.
Noah is now two and a half. I started to notice that he wasn't talking like the other kids his age were. We were living in Italy at this time. The more he played with other kids the more I noticed there was a problem. He even made up his own weird kind of sign language, which I thought was pretty smart and cute. I went home one day and wrote down all the words he could say. The list wasn't very long. I was able to communicate with him just fine, but then of course I was with him 24-7. I contacted a pediatric speech therapist and explained my concerns. They tested Noah and then he started speech therapy. It was amazing. He started talking...and never stopped. He was in therapy for about 6 months before the therapist was satisfied with his speech.
Now Noah is 6. He is in first grade. For a while I've noticed that he doesn't say some of the letter sounds the right way. For instance he says Take instead of Cake or Lellow instead of Yellow. It really didn't cross my mind that this was a problem. I've heard other kids make mistakes with those letters too. Then one night when we were doing spelling homework he had to sort words in to the correct sound. TH, CH, and C were among the sounds. He struggled to differentiate between the two sounds. Something inside me went OH NO! I wrote down other letters on a piece of paper...the letters he mispronounces. I wrote down some words, told him to say them out loud, and asked him to place them correctly. He got so frustrated he was in tears. I just hugged him and said we would work on the spelling homework later.
I went to bed that night planning to email his teacher in the morning and tell her Noah was struggling with the homework and that I thought he might need some help with his speech. I didn't have to write the email. His teacher emailed me. We met the following day and discussed the issues. We set up a meeting with the school's speech teacher. They have already started helping him a little bit. When I go sign his paperwork at our meeting next week he'll be working with the speech therapist a few times a week. She said not to be concerned and that the issue is very minor. She expects it to be corrected in just a few weeks. I'ts really just a matter of teaching him where to place his tongue in his mouth so that the right sounds come out when he talks. She compared it to teaching someone a new language. If you don't know how to roll your R's for instance...then some of the words in Spanish aren't going to sound like they are supposed to.
Noah is very excited about all of this. After I explained that this will help him to not get so frustrated at home work time he was thrilled.
And because this post is already super long...
This is the rest of our never ending battle with ear infections.
His first set of tubes fell out in 2009. The tubes aren't meant to last forever, usually about 1-3 years. As soon as they came out we were back to full blown ear infection craziness. I wasted no time and took him right to our new and wonderful pediatric ENT Dr. Rice. He put new tubes in Noah's ears and once again we returned to ear infection free bliss.
Since that day we have had ZERO ear infections. I guess since the crazy ear infection monster was finally vanquished there was room for Mr. Strep Throat to move on in. Noah got it over and over again. So back to Dr. Rice we went. This was in December of 2011. Dr. Rice informed us that the tubes had fallen out. I felt panicked right away. He told me he really thought that Noah would not need tubes again. He said that he would remove Noah's adenoids at the same time as his tonsils. His adenoids were enlarged and removing them would make more room for his eustachian tube. We scheduled the surgery during the Christmas holiday. It would make for a painful kind of yucky Christmas but at least he wouldn't miss school...
Everything went great. The only bad part was when he woke up. The anesthesia made him really itchy and he scratched his face up pretty bad. He was pretty normal in the days following the surgery, just a little more cranky than usual.
Now almost a year later and he hasn't been sick at all. Not even a cold. It is a huge relief!