Friday, June 1, 2012

A Voice for My Sons

I have written before, as long ago as February, that I was worried about Cole's speech. While he didn't seem as bad as Georgie was, he definatly was behind. I gave him until his second birthday and when his speech didn't pick up, I was going to call Infant and Toddler.

I called. He qualified.

About the same time, I took him in for a well child check and he had yet another ear infection! I wasn't surprised, since the day before his ear was oozing red and black goop. He has always had goopy ears but this new and even more disgusting. I called the doctor that day and since his WCC was the next day, I was told to keep the WCC but to call again if his pain increased or he spiked a fever. Adam was worried, so I took Cole to our chiropracter and she tried to look in his ear, but there was too much goop to visualize the ear drum. She adjusted him and at his WCC the next day, an ear infection was confirmed.
Because Cole has a history of multiple ear infections, he has had period of sleep apnea and has begun grinding his teeth in his sleep, we were referred to an ENT. I put a call back into Infant and Toddler and we agreed to hold off on beginning his therapy until after we had the ENT report.

Cole's appointment was on the last day of school, bright and early in the morning. I took Cami and George with me and they were very, very well behaved. We started with an audiologist appointment. Cole was NOT thrilled when the put the little probes in his ears. He screamed the whole time and they couldn't get a good reading with the probe. We did the traditional test in the soundproof box with the toys that light up. He still wasn't amused but he reacted to the toys and noise... except when he didn't.
There were several noises and tones that I clearly heard but he did not react to. He didn't turn his head, move his eyes or anything. It was always on his left side.
The audiologist downplayed it but I've been through the hearing tests multiple times with my other children. I know normal. Something was not completely normal.

We went on to see the doctor. After hearing Cole's history of multiple ear infections, the apnea, teeth grinding and snoring, he said he feels like he needs the full work up- tubes in his ears, a partial tonsilectomy and adnoids. While he doesn't feel like his tonsils and adnoids need to come out due to infections, he needs to have it done to widen his airways so he can breathe easier. Once he can breathe and sleep easier, he will get better rest and his speech, weight and overall development will take off.

I asked about having his hearing tested while under for the surgery. The doctor says he doesn't like that type of hearing test and would rather just retest 2-3 weeks after surgery and go from there. We both want Cole to have surgery ASAP and the first available is during VBS week. I had intended to work the entire week, so I have to back out for a few days. I think the director is less than thrilled, but oh well.
Now, what about the title of this post? See, a few weeks ago, before the WCC and ENT appointment, the kids took a robin's egg to show Georgie's SLP. As George was telling her about it, Cole was behind her jargoning in "uh duh duh." The SLP looked at him and said, "Oh, baby, please don't say that!" She turned to me, saying, "You have had hime evaluated, right?" I assured her we had and told her about the reoccuring ear infections. She looked doubtful but shoo'd us out to work with Georgie.

During his session, I got to thinking. If Cole could hear well enough to copy his brother, why couldn't he hear well enough to copy everyone else? Why is he only saying "b" words, like ball, blue (boo) or mama? I talked to the SLP later and she reminded me that Apraxia runs in families and every case presents differently. Just because SPD is OFTEN co-morbid with CAS, doesn't mean it always is. Yes, his ear infections could certainly be playing a role in his speech development, it might not be the only cause. In other words, it's a good thing we called infant and toddler when we did.

My son could be hard of hearing and have CAS.

Cole is having surgery June 13th. We won't know until after the tubes are in and he has healed if he has hearing in his left ear. If he doesn't, I am not sure what the next step is- more testing, I suppose. Kids with hearing loss in even just one ear are at risk for language, speech, academic, etc problems. There is a chance he has CAS in addition to the other problems, or even just alone. Again, we won't know until after he has the surgery, heals and has undergone therapy for while.

We're doing okay. I think people always think that they cannot handle something until it is thrown at them and then it's, "Well it could be worse!" It could be. We can handle this and we will. I know from our experience with George that we will do our best to give Cole every chance to live a full life. CAS or not, hearing loss or no, he's going to be a fully functioning adult and a wonderful member of society.

And he will always be my sweet, stinky, stubborn Bear.

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you as Cole goes through his surgery. My son has CAS and has battled the ear infections, tubes and hearing loss, so I can understand the frustration. You are doing everything you can do to help him and support him. And of course, he will always be your baby no matter what.