Monday, January 19, 2009

"You Talkin' To Me?"

The boys have been in Birth to 3 since they were 8 weeks old. They were born 2 months early and it was recommended to us by the NICU docs to have them evaluated to be sure they were on par developmentally. So we did. And both boys have been receiving Physical Therapy (PT) since. We were with one agency for the first year. But, we switched because Luccio wasn't making progress and the therapist he was working with couldn't fit anymore visits into her schedule (that's a whole other story.) Anyway, we lucked out and now have Gigi.

Vincenzo had made lots of progress and now has PT only once a month.

Luccio has progressed in leaps and bounds too. He was born with a Neural Tube Defect (NTD) and he has Hydrocephalus. He has done remarkably well! Other than wearing glasses he isn't physically impaired in any way from all he has been through. Thank God!! He does have low muscle tone and walked a bit late (22 months) so PT has been a great help. Now that he is older I have been concerned about his speech. So Gigi submitted paperwork and asked for a Speech Therapist (ST) to work with once a month (or more if needed.)

So, today the ST came to the house to meet Lucc. It went well. In the 3 months we have waited for the ST consult, Luccio has started talking more and more. Especially since December when he got tubes in his ears. And lately since having Wubba limits.

Needless to say, he talked non-stop the entire time ST was here. He was in his glory to have alone time with me, Gigi, and the ST while Hubby entertained Cenzo.

At first, she commented that Lucio seems to talk really well! Great, he was making a liar of me!

Then, she settled in and came to see what I do. Yes, he talks - a LOT! But, his words are not very clear and its difficult to understand him, which makes him so frustrated! She had great observations and suggestions! She thought that his high palate and low muscle tone could be causing some of the problems. She suggested very simple ways to help that would include feeding him crunchy, flavorful foods to "wake up" his mouth. Food like pretzel rods, lemons, oranges, salsa, etc.

Well, our "Little Bear" doesn't eat food like that. He likes butter noodles and grilled cheese. Soft, bland foods. But, I was willing to be a good sport if he was! So I served buttered noodles with lemon slices for lunch. It go well. Luccio was screaming and yelling at me because he didn't even want the lemon on his plate. So when I tried making him taste it, he went nuts!!! It was so ridiculous!! She also suggested different flavored potato chips, which he would like, but doesn't really need. I may try them though if I get desperate.

I was happy that we finally got to have him evaluated and relieved when ST said he is "in the ball park" of where he should be, though on the low end.

But, I can't help feeling bummed. I don't want either of the boys to need any type of services. And I'm worried about what happens when they go to school? What services will Luccio still need? How will it impact him developmentally and socially and academically??

Yet, I know that of all the things that could have gone wrong, this is the best case scenario. A little Speech Therapy, is no big deal. And PT is really just exercising and who doesn't need that? We are blessed that the boys are so healthy and that these services are available to us and paid for by insurance.

So, now we will have two talking twin toddlers!! And with the help of the Speech Therapist Luccio will be narrating our day with an endless stream of words just like his brother in no time!

Wait, why did I push for Speech Therapy??

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