Saturday, January 30, 2010

An Update on M

Our sweet little M was born on 6/06/06. That would make her 3 1/2 now. She has always been on her own time table, which didn't concern us too much at first, but this last year we've watched her fall further and further behind her peers.

To start with, she really only started talking recently, and what she does say is unintelligible. She's had two developmental evaluations. The first was done a year ago, and it showed her to be behind on cognitive skills, fine and gross motor skills, and expressive and receptive language. The second was done in December, and it showed pretty much the same results. Her IQ was measured to be 74. An IQ of 100 is considered average, anything below 70 is considered mentally retarded, so M's IQ is considered "borderline."

We had her evaluated through the school district, because this seemed more convenient at the time than driving across the island to Honolulu. Because M qualifies for special education services, we now are feeling pressure from the local school district to enroll her in their Early Intervention Program, which would entail sending M to school on a bus every day (although we could arrange to drive her) for her special preschool program which lasts ALL DAY LONG. To be honest, I can barely imagine sending my 11 year old away all day, much less my 3 year old! I know other people do it and don't have a problem with it, but it just grieves my heart to think about. M is part of our family, and we feel she belongs with us. We know she needs therapy, but we're not willing to send her away all day, every day to get it as long as we can find alternatives.

We've talked with many other families who all say the same thing: the "intervention" done at the school takes less than an hour a week, the rest of the time is just crafts and stories, which we do regularly at home anyway. And I don't understand how being in a room all day with a group of other children who don't talk will really help M's speech skills blossom, when there is much more normal chatter here at home.

Hubby and I have been looking into alternatives, but it seems we just keep running into brick walls. We just keep getting told that it's the school district's responsibility to help her with these issues. I don't understand this. When my 9-year-old needed speech therapy, the school district didn't have to be involved. Is this just a Hawaiian thing?

In the meantime, we've been referred to a developmental pediatrician, who is supposed to make a prognosis for M's future (I'm optimistic, but still not really sure I really want to know?), and may be able to help direct us to some local resources. Unfortunately, they won't be able to squeeze us in until March.

And as odd as it sounds, my ray of hope right now is that P (who mimics M's distorted speech) will qualify for speech therapy as well, because therapists come to your house if you're 2! Then perhaps we can convince the therapist/her supervisor/the powers that be to treat M at home as well, since it would be more convenient for all parties.

Lastly, an update on M just wouldn't be an update without at least briefly mentioning her intestinal issues. Little Miss M has suffered from constipation pretty much since she started solid foods in her infancy. It has been horrible, with lots of pain, discomfort, bleeding, trips to the ER... She was recently seen by a gastroenterologist who pretty much just told us to keep upping her dose of Miralax, which I think is pretty much standard nowdays for allopathic physicians (sorry, medical friends/relatives of mine). Instead of trying to find the cause, they just medicate the symptoms. So in an attempt to help heal our little sweetie-pie, we started her on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)/Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet (GAPS), which is complicated and time-consming to explain, and with nap time almost over, I'll have to save it for another post.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, P!

We celebrated P's 2nd birthday with a special scd cake: Hawaiian vanilla bean cake with banana cream cheese frosting. Yum!

A little help from his over-eager sister

Happy, happy, happy birthday, sweet boy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hello and Welcome

Hello, dear friends!
It's good to get a blog up and running again. Now that we're living in tropical paradise, we're finding it harder to keep up with our friends and family, and LOTS of things have happened to us this year that we would like to share with y'all.

One of the first things you'll notice is that all names have been changed to protect the innocent... and the not-so-innocent. This is the internet after all, and I would like to be cautious about publishing my children's names in cyberspace. I debated about whether to make the blog private and only "invite" people to view, but I knew that I would inadvertently leave somebody out and then I would feel bad. I was also hoping that someone out there who has shared similar experiences may stumble across this blog and be able to share their wisdom and experience with me. So this seemed like a good option. I tried to make the names as close to the original as possible, to avoid confusion for my readers who know our family.

Here is the cast of characters:
J-Husband and father. Air Force pilot extraordinaire.
Z-Wife and mother. Undefeated diaper-changing champion of the world (OK, not my real initial, but we have some overlap going on and I have to differentiate).
R-11 years old
A- 9 years old
M-3 1/2 years old
P-2 years old
Q-3 months

I'll try to post as time allows, but to be brutally honest, time doesn't really allow. I would recommend subscribing to my RSS feed so you don't actually have to come "visit" the blog, but you're welcome to follow along (or not, as the case may be) however you choose. :)