Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vision therapy evaluation #3

Lamb 2 had vision therapy and then he had his next evaluation with the doctor today. We ended up spending much of the time talking about his breathing pattern. I never would have expected a developmental optometrist to be full of ideas for Lamb 2's breathing when he speaks. It makes sense though because his recommendations were based on experiences with his own children (one of his sons), some of his patients, and he knows many doctors and therapists in the area. During testing the doctor paid attention to Lamb 2's talking and breathing while he speaks. This was helpful to see what he had to say when it was not in the controlled environment of speech therapy and was not with a family member that he talks to daily.
The doctor really thinks the breathing pattern when speaking is Lamb 2's way of thinking before he speaks. Instead of saying "um" or just pausing, he takes a breath. VT is at the point of working on processing speed now. It is the doctor's hope that as he speeds up processing what he sees, he will also speed up processing what he says and perhaps stop taking breaths when he talks.
Lamb 2 has completed 6 of the 9 month vision therapy program for him. The doctor asked me what else we would like to work on. This is the time to speak up when they have 3 more months to work on it. I did not expect that because I am still following whatever directions the doctor gives us to work on at home and in homeschool.
Lamb 2 did most of the tasks in his testing today slower than last time but when he made mistakes he corrected them. This awareness of knowing he is making mistakes is important. Even though his scores showed slower results than last time, the quality of his work was much improved. The next step will be to speed up his work but keep this quality work.
We will continue work with pattern blocks (thanks to the Loopers that sent me blocks and patterns!) at home and in OT and in VT. Homeschool should do more pre-writing activities. Draw castles, waves, loops, backwards loops, etc. I did this in the classroom with my first graders and Lamb 2 needs to back up and do this too. I will probably have Lamb 3 do it with us too. Simple activities like tear paper in a straight line, scrunch up paper into a ball are also activities he needs to practice.
All of Lamb 2's therapists (VT, OT, speech therapy) are impressed with how hard he works. Recent comments from all of them is that he has matured so much in the last 6 months. He is taller, much more confident, pronouncing words correctly, and the tasks that were difficult for him are easy for him now.
Today's evaluation was a big answer to prayers, perhaps even for prayers that I hadn't even asked God for yet. After the evaluation today I feel much more confident that we have made the right decision to quit speech now. I feel much more prepared to ask questions when we take him to the ENT. If it turns out that the ENT doesn't find anything wrong, I now know the next steps and next doctors to try. Since Lamb 2's tantrums one year ago we have been on quite the journey. God has definitely been our guide and answered prayers before we even asked some times. One doctor has led us to the next doctor and all the doctors have worked together to help Lamb 2.

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