Friday, September 15, 2006

The verdict is in...

...And we still don't really know what is going on with our little Emmett. We saw the developmental pediatrician yesterday. It was 3:00 in the afternoon and Emm was positively squirrely. He would not do the tests that the doctor wanted him to do to test his development. Based on his behaviour at the appointment and the way he interacted with Richard, her, and me she can positively say he is not Autistic. As best as she can guess he has an Oral-Motor Disorder. He has all of the symptoms on the list for Oral Motor disorder and very few of the oral apraxia ones. As far as I can gather that means his facial muscles are not strong enough and/or he can't co-ordinate them to make words.

The doctor said if we wanted to dig really deep we could go to a geneticist in The City and have his chromosomes checked. His ears are smoother than other ears and this leads her to believe that he may have a chromosomal defect that is causing his speech problems. A test like this would do nothing to further his treatment, it would only satisfy scientific curiosity. I am not interested in turning my boy into a lab rat at this point, but maybe when he is old enough for me to explain the blood tests and why we are doing them, we might consider it. Richard and I are now engaged in discussions to decide exactly whose side of the family the defective chromosomes came from (jokenly, of course).

All I know for sure is that there will be no end in sight for speech therapy. Since this appointment I have also been referred to a Provincial agency that provides support to families of children with develpomental delays. Emm is technically not delayed "enough" to qualify since it is only his speech that is affected, but it would be nice to find out if there is extra support out there for us. We were considered because Emm's speech delay is so profound. I'll take all the help I can get!

Emmett is doing his part. He is trying to make new shapes with his lips and he is trying to make new sounds. We are trying different ways to communicate now, sometimes we use signs, sometimes we use a picture board (this is proving to be quite successful). We may need to get a video phone--I gave Emm the phone to chat with my mother last night and he walked into the diningroom with the reciever and as he "talked" to her he pointed at various things in the room. He also waved "good bye" to her when she said good bye to him.

I am still processing how I feel, but overall I am hopeful.


Anonymous said...

I wish you had more answers, but at least you are getting a little bit of help. Best wishes to you guys!

emmalola said...

I'm just reading this, but I wanted to tell you that my little sister has verbal apraxia, along with a few other problems. She's in the 5th grade now and is totally able to fit in with her classmates. What started out as a scary saga for her parents has turned into a little speech impediment. Good luck to you guys!