Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ahren Update

Oh Ahren. I utter those words so often! He is such a beautiful, happy, ornery, silly boy. Some days I still have to stop and just stare at him and convince myself he is really here. Working as hard as we did for three years to bring him home leaves some deep scars on a Mama's heart. 

So where are we in figuring out his physical diagnosis? 
See below:

We spent 2 half-days with a speech pathologist having every speech, fluency, language and swallowing test done she had in her arsenal. Last week i sat down with her to get all the results. (BTW, if anyone near here needs a speech professional I absolutely LOVE this woman!) The final results are that Ahren has no problem swallowing yet, but he does have difficulty chewing effectively. The muscles in his jaw are weak, so we will be doing strengthening exercises for that. The other issue is that he has a moderate fluency disorder. He has good vocabulary for his age, but when he has to put together a sentence or find the words to free-express himself he cannot find the words. It's sort of like stuttering and sort of like aphasia combined. He knows the words but cannot find them at the time. If you give him a choice to pick from he can easily voice himself. He also has great difficulty with many letter sounds that he should have mastered by this age. He will be starting twice a week therapy sessions to help this.

On this Wednesday we finally see the pediatric neuro-muscular specialist again and go over all the test results, discuss diagnosis and the plan for further testing and/or treatment. I am thoroughly ticked that it has taken so many, many months to even get to this point, but the upside is that by going right to the best specialist available in the southern U.S. we may have saved time in the long run. It was a calculated risk, but I still don't know if we chose the right path. I do know that whatever is wrong has only progressed a small amount in the last few months, thank goodness. He will no longer ride his bicycle, which he used to love. He doesn't climb into the play fort either. He will still go outside and swing, but that's about it. His speech is worse now than 6 months ago. The difficulty finding words is new, but the enunciation of certain letters is the same. The chewing issue is also nothing new. Shoot, the child's favaorite food is mash-a-tatoes. He would live on those if I let him.

One thing that the speech pathologist shared with me is that he is most certainly yanking my chain on some things. He is perfectly capable of chewing small bites of meat, which he showed her quite willingly. Here at home the only meat he would eat is things like soft meatloaf, diced chicken and so forth. He actually ate chunks of ham and small bites of beef jerky for her before he tired out. Now I need to push him, to insure he doesn't lose function from non-use. Little booger! Beef jerky. Really?

I will let y'all know what we find out later this week. I also have updates on Ashley, Aspen and all the other players here at Chez Chaos.

Oh, and I am the biggest loser of all time. I forgot my Dad's and my Sister's birthdays recently. Now I have to try and figure out a way to apologize and make it up to them, and not make them think I have totally lost my mind, which I have, and not seem a total blonde ditz, which I also am, and let them know how much I really, truly, and completely love them, which I do. (Does that sentence seem clunky????? Oh well, it matches my brick of a brain right now!)

1 comment:

Reba said...

I had been wondering about Ahren. I hope that you get some answers this week and figure out how to best help him. Kind of had to chuckle on the whole chewing thing. :) More and more I am seeing that we have some language delays to deal with...coming home at age 2 gave us a late start. She can talk socially fairly well but when it comes to answering questions, especially anything involving emotion, there is a breakdown. Vocabulary is also an issue. I think that is why we are dealing with some behavior issues...