Thursday, July 23, 2009

He amazes us everyday

It just keeps getting better. In the course of two months, Truman has gone from barely any words at all to naming things all around to speaking in two-word phrases on a regular basis. He has even popped out with a few even longer phrases, including:
"Help hit ball, OK."
"Chair sit here, Baba."
"Cool air on" (a demand he makes every time he gets in a hot car)
"Dagum home. Ba-pah home. E-o home." (meaning Grandmommy, Papa Perry, and cousin Leo are at their house. I think he thinks his cousin, Leo, lives with my parents because that's where he always sees him. We have no idea why "Dagum" means grandmother, but it has for some time now)
His articulation is still very hard to understand on most words unless you are around him all the time. We're even confused on some of it. We think he'll probably still need lots of help for years to come, but he's finally making progress. It feels so good to finally believe he will get there someday.
Eating is also improving. He still hasn't made much progress on what he can eat, but is definitely vomiting less often. And every once in a while, he'll eat like a regular toddler. In fact, two nights ago, he had 3/4 of a slice of cheese pizza and drank a couple of ounces of milk out of a straw for the first time with any success. The improvements are enough that we are lot more willing to give him things to try because not only does he take the occassional bite and keep it down, he is still willing to eat some purees afterward to get the actual food volume he needs into him. I guess part of it is that when he vomited multiple times a day and just keeping enough calories in him to sustain him was a huge struggle, we weren't willing to risk as many difficult foods for fear he lost the hard-fought meals we did get into him. Now, even if we think he might vomit from a particular texture, we're more willing to risk it because we know more of the other meals will stay down.
The photos above are from our trip in June to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, including one where the pilot gave him free rein in the cock pit during a layover.
Life is good.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Preschool Program For Children With Disabilities

It's official. Truman will be starting in Richardson ISD's special education program on August 24. It's from 8 to 11 five days a week. He'll do a combo of that and Callier's SmILE program on Mondays and Wednesdays. He qualified based on speech and feeding issues, as well as attention and sensory issues. But interestingly, he did not qualify for orthopedic impairment, so he won't be receiving PT through the schools. That's pretty amazing to me -- our child who didn't sit until his first birthday and didn't walk until the age of 2 and who has an informal diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy is close enough to his peers in all the physical areas to not be considered disabled by the schools. We know he still needs help with fine motor skills and some gross motor, and we will continue our OT privately, but just stepping back even just a year ago, we did not expect for him to have come this far. They said his fine motor needs will be met as part of the basic curriculum -- learning to write and draw shapes and use scissors and all those sorts of things little ones do in preschool.

Also, they said his play, pretending, manipulation of toys, receptive language skills and more all look age appropriate to them, and that other than speech, they don't see cognitive deficits. We don't either, but it's nice to hear a professional agree since we don't know how children at his age are supposed to play. It was the first time we've ever really had anyone evaluate his play for an extended period, so it was nice to have someone watch and see. And, of course, they loved him, like everyone does. He really is such a sweet and pleasant little boy to be around, particularly to play with.

They also said based on his initial intake information and what they saw, he's made about 6 months worth of progress in six weeks with regard to speech.

We were talking last night that if someone told me three years ago that my unborn child would need special education classes, I would have been very saddened. But yesterday, it was a relief to find out he qualified and would get the help he needed and to know that considering his history, he doesn't need nearly the amount of educational help that statistics would show. His speech issues are HUGE, but it's just nice to know that's the main thing he needs rather than a laundry list.

In other topics, we've had vomiting for three of the past three days. Sunday and Tuesday were both minor and direct responses to texture -- one was Nilla wafers, one was a breadstick. But Monday's was the old full-on projectile over-and-over sessions during dinner. Yuck! It's amazing how quickly you get used to not having to clean up vomit.