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Posts Tagged ‘speech therapy’


There has been plenty going on to occupy the CavFamily.  For one thing, we have put our home on the market.  We did this to preserve our equity since the prices are only going down, and we probably won’t get this much for at least a few years.  We hope to be moving elsewhere soon.  If I receive a new call, we’ll have a headstart on selling the house.

This means lots of work.  We have been “de-cluttering”, which mostly means packing up unnecessary items to create the perception of more space in the home.  The real estate agent is hopeful; our home is priced competetively and the market for smaller homes is better than for larger homes.  I got plenty of work done Friday and Saturday- to which CavGirl commented “You’re a workhorse, daddy.”  She picked this phrase up from Jon & Kate Plus 8.   The excess stuff is gone and the home is ready for the virtual tour photos.

With a vacation coming up, we also had to “de-dog” the home.  He is a shedding machine.  As a result, the prospect of asking our neighbors to not only let him out, but being able to vacuum the home on a moment’s notice if an agent wants to show it and how he might respond to strangers means he needs to go on vacation.  Just not with us.  Former neighbors agreed to watch him while we are away.  But, they now live a few hours away.  So, on a trip to visit family they stopped by last night to pick him up.  CavGirl was not quite down with that.  Tired and hungry, she had a mini-meltdown because the dog is gone, temporarily.

It was a good thing the dog is gone.  Shortly after putting the kids to bed, CavWife realized it was getting warm in the house.  The A/C was not working, period.  Not even the fan or heat.  I think the lightening storm must of wiped out the thermostat and a nearby fan used to create white noise for sleeping children.  It was a long, warm, sticky night in the house.  We had some doors and windows open.  No telling how the dog would react to the various noises and critters outside.  I didn’t get much sleep, crashing in the living room since it had better airflow.  Thankfully, the forecast says that it is only supposed to get to around 88 today.  Much better than 95+.  But I passed on the shower in the hopes that the A/C guy has it up and running around lunch time.  Then I take CavBoy to his re-evaluation for his hearing.  They wanted to see how the better tubes affected his hearing.

Saturday was a long, tiring day.  We had the joy of going to another wedding.  We sat with a friend and her 3 year-old.  CavGirl, CavBoy and their friend had too much fun.  We should have gotten a babysitter since I got so stressed out at the noise and endless questions.  I found them a huge distraction but the people around us didn’t seem too put off.  At the reception, I was able to spend time with a guy I rented a room from while getting my 2nd degree from RTS.  He also rented a room to the groom.  Like CavSon, he was born with a cleft-plate, so we spent time comparing notes as it were.

We left the reception around 2, after CavBoy’s diaper seems to have sprung a leak.  Too much to drink for that boy.  So we had to slip out the back quietly.  He crashed on the short ride home, but CavGirl was another story.  Her whining was a preview for the evening.  All my parenting tricks failed.  Nothing seemed to get through to her and grew increasingly exasperated.  It was a good prelude to my sermon on Sunday on how God loves us enough to discipline us.

This morning, our speech therapist called to say he wasn’t coming.  We requested a new speech therapist, but wanted the transition to take place when we went on vacation.  He decided “what’s the point”- ah, our son’s well-being…  We don’t want him to go 5 weeks without speech therapy.  This therapist seems to have little experience with cleft-palate kids (though he talked like an expert).  His recommendations were about 180 degrees different from everyone else’s.  He also refused to take his personal history as a recently adopted kid into account and determined his progress in 4 sessions was insignificant.  I’m not sure why he was informed of this change now, but I’m not liking how he bailed on CavSon today.  So now we are looking for a new therapist with experience working cleft-palate kids locally.  As if we didn’t have enough happening.

So, I have now escaped to my ‘office’ for cooler air and a quiet atmosphere.  Much needed for my sanity.  My stay here will be much too short.

Update: The A/C repair cost about $160.  It didn’t look good at first, but it turned out that the transformer and relay had been blown out by a power surge.  Had it taken a direct hit by lightening, the whole shebang would have to be repaired costing about $1,600.  So we are thankful!

CavSon’s hearing exam came back as borderline normal, which is great news.  He’s had a rough day since he didn’t sleep well.  He was crying most of the way home, even when I held his hand he was not comforted.  Not the best thing for my shoulder.

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While CavWife helped a friend pack for a cross-town move into their new home, I took the kids to the playground.  I hadn’t been there with them since March or April.  I was joyfully amazed at the progress CavGirl has made.  He was climbing the various ladders, without help, and going down the slides alone.  She even had me teach her how to climb the “rock” wall.  She did pretty well for a first timer.

CavSon did okay.  He’s still not excited about slides or swings.  They’ll grow on him.

They both enjoyed the deck that goes over the lake.  We saw plenty of fishes among the junk that had been tossed in.  You can’t swim at the beach anymore.  It is covered over with weeds on land and in the water.  Probably too hard to keep the gators away.  The beach was probably victim of a previous budget crunch.

The victims of the next budget crunch were sitting there the entire time we were there.  There were 3 emplyees from Leisure Services sitting, talking and reading.  Their job would be to play with neighborhood kids.  But there were no kids there.  Which is unfortunate- it was an overcast day so it wasn’t mind-numbingly hot, and we saw a bunch of kids down the street.

CavGirl has experienced a number of falls off her bike lately.  Tumbles in general.  She’s got a cut on her big toe that keeps opening up.  She did a good job banging up a finger.  She rides too fast and tries to turn.  We are still working on actually stopping to look both ways before entering the road.

She is currently engrossed in Jon & Kate Plus 8 while CavWife taught aerobics.  She loves watching all the kids.  She just calls it watching the kids.  We now have a video tape dedicated to the show.

His speech therapy is going okay.  He’s trying.  He can make the ‘p’ sound, but has not yet integrated it into actual words.  But the therapist isn’t happy.  He disagrees with the surgeon regarding the need to repair the fistula.  We have decided: 1. he has little experience with cleft palate kids, 2. he is not taking CavSon’s speech in context (here 6 months, this is his 2nd language, undergoing major surgery…).  So, when we return from vacation, we should have a new speech therapist to work with him.

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The last few weeks have been just that.  It has been good that I am not working because I feel like I’ve been all around central Florida.  I have taken CavSon for doctor’s appointments and testing in Lakeland and Orlando.  I’ve gone to meetings about job openings in Tampa.  Lunch with pastors in Avon Park, preaching in Avon Park.  I brought the laptop to the Geek Squad in Lakeland (reason for the decrease in the number of posts, and lack of pics of the family).  Gas is $4/gallon and I’m driving more than ever.  This weekend we all head up to Brooksville for a wedding.

CavSon may have some mild hearing loss associated with the frequent ear infections experienced by children with cleft palates.  Next week I bring him back to Orlando to make sure his left ear is healthy.  Our surgeon expressed some concern about that ear.  He has begun speech therapy (no driving, the guy comes to our home).  We are trying to work on the expulsive consonants (b, p and so forth).  He has to learn how to use the muscles in his mouth.  Much of what he says is a slur of vowels right now.

CavDaughter is going everywhere on her new bike.  A friend down the street got a new bike for her birthday, and decided to give her old, smaller bike to our daughter.  She is excited to be riding it, though she has not yet learned how to use the brakes.  This makes for some interesting moments.

She’s trying to “sow her oats” as only a 3 1/2 year-old can.  We are having to address an increase in disrespect and demandingness.    This can make for a long day.

While I’m in my borrowed office, I try to look for work on-line.  Not terribly exciting.  It confirms my internal call as I await a new external call.  I’m trying to keep up with what is going on in the world (theological, political, sports etc.) but am falling way behind since I can’t surf at night.  Perhaps this is good for me.  I’m not reading as much as I’d like, either.

The return of rain also means the return of mowing season here in Florida.  My brown desert hath bloomed all green.  I will need to put in increased lawn time now.

Put it all together and I feel quite harried and pressured as the future intrudes on my present.  I’m looking forward to a few days away from it all for the wedding.  Perhaps it will clear my head and heart.  But until then, I’ve got to work on a homily.

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Yesterday was not a completely sad day.  We had our court hearing for the re-adoption of CavSon.  Since only CavWife went to China, he was her legal son.  He wasn’t mine.  Great thing we weren’t divorced in the last few months 🙂 .  So we had the court date to finalize the re-adoption.

The judge asked if I had a job.  “No, I am a pastor between pastorates.  I was in PA last weekend and am hopeful they will offer me a position.”  Oh, the irony of it all.  But, in God’s providence they may be connected somehow. 

Either way, though life may be difficult for CavFamily the next few months life with us will surely be better than life in a Chinese orphanage no matter how good the care.  Here the adult-to-child ratio is 1:1.

He has adapted quite well to CavFamily thus far.  He is a mostly happy little boy.  Like any other 2 year-old there are moments when you are frustrated by a lack of listening and downright disobedience.  But we enjoy him.  He is beginning to imitate more of our speech, which is a great improvement.  He should begin speech therapy soon to help him learn to use that new soft palate of his to make the sound of consonants.

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Yesterday CavSon had his speech and hearing evaluation.  I brought him up to Orlando to get lost in the new construction downtown.  Not too lost.  The exit Map Quest wanted me to take was for a toll road, not the road I wanted/needed.  I figured it out without the help of a GPS or Onstar (p-p-p-please). [apparently the photo file is corrupted, which is a shame since it is a great picture]

The therapist and the intern were very nice and he played well with them.  They checked for his comprehension of what was said, what sounds he was able to say, and if he could identify objects that are described rather than named.

His comprehension was good.  He was only a few months behind- which considering his time in the orphanage (particularly the first 6 months) and having recently moved to the U.S. was not bad.  It was to be expected.  His speaking skills are quite behind, as you would expect since he did not have a palate until a month ago, and English is not his original language.  He does well with the vowels, which are easy.  He is able to pronounce “h, m, n, th”.  I can’t remember if he did “s”.  He has to learn to create suction for some of the other consonants.

He is actually trying to speak more than we thought.  With the missing consonants it just sounds like he’s humming or babbling.  He’ll need plenty of speech therapy, which is not a big deal.  This is something else he probably wouldn’t get back home. 

CavDaughter is discovering embarrassment.  She becomes embarrassed when she discovers she has done something wrong.  I’m still trying to figure out the best way to respond to this new behavior on her part.  In some ways it is funny.  In others, a bit frustrating.

At a birthday party she got a memory card game and wanted me to play it with her.  Before her nap she seemed to grasp it and do fairly well.  In the evening it was like a completely different person.  She was distracted and didn’t follow the rules.  Go figure.

The highlight of Catan Night (we play Monday nights) was listening to one friend describe the rules of hockey to another who had grown up in CA.  The best part was explaining why scoring has gone up and describing the role of the enforcer and how goalies used to hit opposing players in the crease.  Lots of hand motions and Batman sounds (think the campy old TV show- which we also talked about at length).  This all makes more sense when you realize I didn’t win.

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