"Speech Apraxia/Coordination Disorder"
The Child Development Center called me this morning saying they had a speech pathology cancellation and would like to see Brady (his original appt was set for mid-Jan). I had a playdate planned for the kids this morning (they don't have school on Tuesdays) so we cut the date short, and headed over to the center.
The appointment lasted three hours, but the boys stayed pretty entertained. Thank goodness they play movies and have toys in the waiting area, so Jax was pretty entertained while we waited through the testing for Brady.
The therapist was super nice and very informative. She first noticed how VERBAL Brady is and asked if he tries to approximate most words. I said he is always 'talking', but it's not very understandable. She kind of made of face and said she wondered if he had a phonological issue rather than a disorder, and that of course would be a lot better. So she sent Jax and I out into the waiting area while she gave Brady his test. Jax doesn't have his appt set until Jan, unless there's a cancellation before that too.
We were called back in and she told me that he did in fact definitely have Apraxia with a lot of coordination issues. She does however believe he WILL speak with a lot of hard work and hopefully the diagnosis will get him more help. I signed a release for her to call the school therapist to give the official diagnosis to be noted on the IEP (an IEP is a school plan for kids with extra needs that require therapy from the district). She said he seems very bright and her evaluation of speech comprehension was a score of 86. Normal for his age is 85-115, but as long as it hits anywhere in that range, they're considered normal since the score can change considerably each day depending on mood, concentration etc. She said his speech itself was in the 60s, which is a huge Apraxia indicator (can understand, but can't physically say it). She looked at me and said she didn't assume the extremely low score would surprise me. No, it didn't.
We need to work on core words, and only sounds in therapy for now. She suggested that we put up 5 or 6 core words on the fridge (pictures) and repeat the words constantly for 2 weeks. This will eventually train his mouth how to say them, and that will be his catalyst - which is how Jax really started to take off. Repetitive core words - that is our goal! She suggested the words - Whoa, me, down, hot, shoe and out to be the first set given his ability. Also, she suggests the "Kaufman Approach" for therapy, so I'll be seeing if that is the current approach at school. She gave me her notes that look like a foreign language a bit. All the sounds he is great at, awful at, emerging at. This lady is like the queen of therapists I think.
I asked this therapist for a second opinion on the adaptive tool for Brady to use. She said absolutely, and it will not deter him with the speech. She thinks hearing the word he is saying in his head will only help him, and once he can say it, he won't use the tool for that particular word. She also thinks he'd only need it for the next 6m, maybe a year to be where Jax is at. (I hope I don't regret typing that like I do some old posts years ago about Jax losing his tube.)
I asked if it were possible for Jax to have the same diagnosis, even though his speech is more evolved. She said he most likely does, he's just at a different phase - and it's very genetic through males... so yeah, that whole twin thing most likely is in play. She was surprised though that the 'healthy' guy of the two has the worst case of the disorder. She said that medical complications will usually push a child back pretty far, so that is very odd. Brady is super healthy other than some eczema. I guess it's another random unknown!
So let's hope this is the only diagnosis that Brady receives from this whole process over the next 2 months. I really do have my hopes set that the whole ADHD thing will be evaluated and recommended to be on hold for further checking when they're older. Maybe the speech is a big component?? We'll see I guess...
In other news, my friend Shannon lost her father this weekend - we actually got the news while out together at a restaurant on Saturday night. Our hearts are with her and her family this week while they go through the sad journey. It feels like the last few years have had so much loss for so many people that I love. I'm ready for the next one to start and to bring some peace for everyone.