Our little family got some news last week which has shaken up our lives a bit. As I sat down to write this I realized including everything would be a massive post that no one would ever want to read, so I’m splitting it into two days.
I took the Menininho for a hearing screen when he was 6 months old. Something just didn’t feel right; I didn’t think he was responding to noise the way he should be at that age. Everything checked out though, so I chalked my concerns up to being a first time mom and put it out of my mind. Menininho continued to develop at a pretty normal pace.
At his 12 month appointment, I had some concerns for his doctor. I know you’re not supposed to compare kids, but let’s be honest moms: it’s impossible not to! Menininho hadn’t added any new sounds, spoke no words, wasn’t following commands, didn’t dance or bop along to music, and didn’t respond to any of the ASL we’d been trying to teach him for 3 months. The pediatrician said yes, he should have done those things, but of course there’s a wide spectrum for development and if, at his 15 month checkup, he hadn’t said a word yet then we’d talk about a speech therapist.
Surely OUR kid wouldn’t need a speech therapist! He loves books! They’re his favorite toy. He engages strangers in conversations of gibberish! He’s a generally happy kid and extremely social and expressive. He’s already got his Daddy’s Italian hand gestures down pat!
But, by the 15 month appointment I hadn’t noticed any changes, except that he’d *just* connected the sign for food to going to his high chair, and he responded to “no” when accompanied with an angry voice and head shaking. The pediatrician was more concerned, suggested a 2nd hearing screening, and said otherwise we could just wait and see till his 18 month appointment. Only, he didn’t pass part of the hearing screening. The nurse told me it was no big deal, re-check in 3 months, but I called one of my best friends, who just happens to be finishing her doctorate in audiology, and she told me otherwise.
So I made an appointment with our hospital’s audiologist. The scheduler tried to tell me it would be July before I could get in. But you know how I roll, and I insisted she check the schedule again. Poof! There was a May appointment! And then we got a call last Monday night offering us a slot the next morning.
After a few tests, the audiologist told us she didn’t think Menininho has a hearing loss, though she can’t be sure without more testing in a few months, but she believes it might be an auditory processing disorder. That’s when the brain doesn’t know how to interpret the signals it gets from the ears. She recommended we take him to see a speech therapist for further testing and treatment as soon as possible.
Now we wait. We know how important early intervention is, so we’re praying we get call backs about an evaluation this week, and that it doesn’t take 3 months to get the appointment. Maybe this will turn out to be just a simple delay and nothing more, that would be great, but now I’m just anxious to start evaluating.