Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Her favorite pose.

Spend more than a minute with Emmi, and you are bound to see her break out into a dance. Ending, of course, in this pose.


If....because.

Emmi's therapist gives us homework each week. It used to be that we would work on the same thing for weeks before we noticed any progress. Now, Emmi is mastering each task within days. It is amazing the sudden jump in progress she is having. I know it goes in phases, and we will probably hit a slow down soon. Until then, I am ecstatic every time she gets something new.

Last week, we started working on more complex sentence structure. Thursday we were given the task of using "if" and "because" in speech as much as possible. Today in ST, she actually used "because." A month ago, she was capable of five word sentences, but mostly using three. Today, she said, "She cleaned her room, because it was dirty." Wow!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Apparently...

soaking me with a water gun requires concentration...


....and is really funny.



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A conversation with Emmi

The past two weeks, there has been remarkable improvement in Emmi's speech. She has progressed by leaps and bounds. Her speech therapist has been focusing on two things the past months. The first was final "k" in her words. Over the past week, she has been getting final "k" about 50% of the time! This has been extremely hard for her. The other focus point was past tense with "ed." She gets the concept of "I went to the park," and "They were there," but she physically could not say words like "played" and "baked" (double whammy... final k and ed!). A few days ago, she spontaneously said, "I dropped it." Clear as can be! I knew if she got it once, that eventually it would get stronger as she figured out how to manipulate her mouth and make the sound. So I know we are on the right path. So many people are beginning to understand her. She still gets ahead of herself a lot. We have to remind her to slow her speech down, to enunciate. And while you can't make out every single word she is saying, she definitely gets her point across.

Two days ago, Emmi and I had a conversation about her school friends, Owen hitting her in the face ("That Owen!" is a phrase said a lot around here. Although, for the record, I think Owen is a pretty funny kid), her need for a reindeer, and just how much she loves Valentine's.

video

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Next Year

Next year is going to be hard. Really hard. I don't know how Emmi is going to make it without her current teacher. She has had her for the past three school years, and she loves her. When she gets hurt, sometimes her name gets called before "Mommy!" Spring Break has been horrendous, because Emmi has asked for her teacher everyday. And? Apparently, her teacher ranks among the greats such as Santa Claus...

video

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Progress

Today I broke my rule and went to Starbucks. My tooth hurts still. I have sore throat. There is a mountain of laundry. And Emmi? Well, she is bored out of her mind with Jill out of town for two more days. I needed coffee to keep up with her. So off we went.

The barista took my order, and then looked to Emmi. "What would you like?"

"Coffee," Emmi clearly replied, immediately provoking giggles from myself and the barista. I stepped in changing her order to a children's hot chocolate, but the floodgates of conversation had been opened when the barista was amused by her answer of coffee. The barista asked her name and age. Emmi told her about her birthday and her party. I kept stepping in to translate, to clarify what she was saying.

But the thing is. The woman understood her. Without my help. That has never happened before.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Plastic Surgeon Visit....that was, like, a month ago!

It has been awhile since I have updated. I am horrible about it, I know. I guess for some people it is therapeutic to write down everything going on with their child. Not me. I try not to focus on, so keeping up a blog about it is hard. But this blog isn't supposed to be about me.....

We finally met with the plastic surgeon, after much delay. In his usual rude manner (I REALLY dislike this guy), he quickly let us know that Emmi is not now nor will she ever be a candidate for this surgery. He expected me to be upset. To cry or beg or kick and scream. I was just relieved. This never felt right. I could never wrap my head around it. I just felt forced, like I was a bad mom if I didn't move forward with it. I never actually wanted to, though. The implants were completely elective, and I never felt this way about those surgeries. So that told me that something was off. In any case, she isn't a candidate because of her low tone. That isn't something that will ever change. I know it is hard to understand. PT and OT can make her stronger, however, that won't change her tone. That is never going to improve. It is neurological. Permanent. She must have good tone for this surgery. All the lung infections she gets are because of the low tone and lack of coughing. The choking is also due to the tone, not even the VPI. So this surgery would actually make the choking and lung infections worse. It would limit her food intake more, not improve it. I was so glad this was no longer an option, although this means there is now no easy answer. There is no solution, and this isn't going away. But, it is no longer something I will have to make a choice about. This is choice is made for me. All of these decisions weigh on me.

For now, we are focusing on speech therapy. We will continue her private therapy, and she will continue to receive speech therapy through the school. She will remain at the deaf ed school, although in a mainstream classroom, for as long as she needs speech services, which looks to be a lot longer. She will never talk clearly. She will never be a singer even though she has a really soft, sweet voice and loves to sing. It may limit her, but I really hope not.