Sunday, September 4, 2016

Looking Close

"Don't look directly at the boy." --a phrase often uttered in our house.  When Matthew doesn't want to do something, he sometimes becomes defiant, but then often acquiesces.  He will often do what we had asked of him in time-- only if we don't look at him or say anything to him.  If we take notice, he goes back to being defiant.  

This pretty much sums up how I am reacting to his development (or lack thereof) these days.  I don't want to look too closely, or (a) it may stop OR (b) I may see something that might concern me.  I don't want to be too reflective.  Maybe that is why the blog has been quiet. 

This summer, we did take a closer look at a couple of areas--

*Matthew's gnat-like attention span.  To this point, I had chalked it up to him being developmentally delayed.  After taking a good look, and reviewing teacher and therapist notes, I suspected that it is more than that.  The neurologist agrees.  We put him on a supplement that is supposed to help, but so far, no luck.  We have a follow up appointment later this month to determine next steps.  The good part of this 'diagnosis', if there is a 'good', is that the neurologist believes that all academic based developmental testing to this point has most likely been inaccurate since Matthew won't sit and concentrate for any test (verbally or non-verbally measured).  My gut was telling me the same, but it is nice to get a corresponding medical opinion.  

*Matthew's articulation issues.  Matthew talks -- a lot.  But he's not always understood.  We took him for a palatal motion study (x-rays shot when he was speaking) to see if the articulation issues were physiological or not.  I don't even know all of what the study revealed at this point, but it appears that Matthew's tongue and palate have the capability of making the sounds necessary for articulation--which means it is not a structural issue.  Movement of the throat in and out, the secondary (or back up way) of producing articulation, is not something he is capable of doing.  It just means he must do it right with tongue, palate, and lips.  Recommendation was more time and therapy.

*Matthew's ear.  We have noticed discharge from Matthew's ear for several months, but upon inspection by the pediatrician, we were told it was ear wax.  During the follow up appointment with the entire clef palate team (though Matthew does not have a clef palate, these are the experts that deal with the facial structures and they were in charge of the palatal motion study), the ENT diagnosed Matthew with a persistent, chronic ear infection.  We have a follow up here in Austin to ensure the infection has gone away, and to investigate whether there is cyst behind Matthew's ear drum.  Again, not sure what this might mean.

*Facial structure.  Our awesome dentist and our fabulous craniofacial surgeon both agreed that though Matthew's jaw is still very recessed, it is not something to address for many years.  It is likely not the cause of his speech issues.

*Urology.  Through ultrasound investigation, Matthew's solitary, horse-shoe kidney is in good shape and growing and Matthew's urachal cyst is still present, but hasn't grown.  We may have a follow up with urology this fall.

*Academic skills.  Matthew had a tutor for 12 sessions this summer, and we saw great academic progress.  We are hopeful, that in repeating kinder and the fact that he is now more developmentally on par with his kindergarten peers, this year he blossoms.  

Working hard at tutoring

In related medical news, we are on a search for a new pediatrician because ours moved. I will forever miss our pediatrician from Houston, and will likely head to the practice he recommended here in Austin.  We also saw the optometrist this summer, and no glasses are necessary for any of the kids. 

I was hopeful that by stacking the appointments this summer, we could avoid most of them during the school year, but I didn't think about follow ups.  Hopefully the upcoming appointments are uneventful and Matthew has a long, healthy stretch.  

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