As it turns out, this blog seems to be moving away a bit from it's original intent- which was to chronicle our adoption journey to our son, DX. He has been home with us since August, and is doing fabulously! Since I've been mostly blogging about the little crafty things that I've been doing, I thought it might be high time to give an actual "kid" update.
DX had a Cleft Team visit last week and saw his surgeon. His mouth has healed very well- there are no fistulas (tiny holes), and the palate itself has a good "length"! For those of you not living in the world of cleft lip/cleft palate, these things are important for the quality of his speech. If too much air can escape from his mouth to his nose while he speaks, he would sound very "nasaly" (or, more correctly, 'hypernasal'), a problem that is not uncommon in cleft-affected kids and often requires further surgery. So, this is great news!!
We also saw his ENT, who was convinced that as a result of a vascular birth mark inside his ear (long story!), his hearing was seriously affected on one side. He sent us for a hearing test- DX was *so* cooperative!- and it turns out that hearing from one ear is normal, while the other ear has mild hearing loss only- not even serious enough to require a hearing aid! Given that the ENT had been talking about hearing implants in our son's future, this is also great news!!
He is continuing with speech therapy, which he will probably need for several years. Language and speech development are both areas of concern for us, since he's had a lot going on to "catch up" with his peers in language. He's had to learn English in the last 7 months, deal with new equipment (his palate after his surgery) for speech, undergo 2 surgeries, etc., etc... That's a lot for a 3 year-old! And, in general, cleft-affected children do experience language delays that are related to their delays in producing speech. Anyways, each time we go to speech therapy, the therapist sees an improvement in how he is putting words together. Yesterday, she played a game with him to informally test his knowledge of colours, shape, numbers, and letters, and following it, she said that he responded at the appropriate age level for all those concepts! Three months ago, that would not have been the case.
So, things are moving along so well with our boy! He's such a great kid. We're so blessed to have him.