Wednesday, January 21

What works for us Wednesday

Prayer. We have been through two long days with two sick kids and knowing that we can pray about our concerns is what has worked for us. I just added a morning devotional book to my routine "Fresh grounded faith" (picture of a big ol' cup of java on the front) and it has been a wonderful read.

Updates on us. Yesterday the boys were diagnosed with croup. A virus that constricts the larynx. For Liam he bounced back and is doing well today. For Tommy he needed high powered steroids in his Gtube because the Stridor became really bad. He also continues his nebulizer and we parked him next to a cool mist vaporizer. Both boys are better today. And thanks to a loving daddy for being with them (Colin is VERY tired).

Yesterday was also the day to meet our newest team member, an ASL instructor and coordinator from Wa State Sensory Disabilities (Deaf Blind) program. Tommy LOVED her. She had wonderful ideas on how to improve his reception of sign language. First, the colored background that you sign against makes a huge difference. She showed me the difference between using sign language out in the air (besides my body) versus against something dark (like my shirt). You can SEE sign language so much better if it is against darkness. The flesh color of our hands stands out much better for the boys to see. Next, she encouraged us to continue being animated and keep it 'fun'. Lastly, for play, she suggested using a dark colored tray or table so that Tommy can focus on a book or toy or artwork, rather than potentially being distracted by too many things happening (a table with lots of stuff on it). Although she didn't think we needed deaf/blind services right now, she said we continue our eligibility with their department and she will be present at our transition to preschool and can look at the Ferndale preschool room and make recommendations on how to keep Tommy engaged. She agreed with me that his eyes tend to draw larger (pop way open) when he is interested in looking at something. Perhaps this is due to his theatrical self, perhaps this is due to a vision issue, perhaps this is because his brain is still adjusting to his delayed visual maturation. We will follow up with Thornberg his eye dr in the fall on that.

We also met yesterday with our regular speech therapist for the boys. She met with Tommy for the session and he really enjoyed working on books with her. She had LARGE print and was very colorful. He loved that. Our repitoire of songs complete with signs and gestures is growing. She is going to send us some more ideas, but Tommy and I had great fun showing off many of our favorites. One incredible thing that our speech therapist did was to make "Tommy's tips" and "Lessons for Liam" to be used by Promise and others that might help us care for the boys (children's church). They are core ideas to work on in any available interaction with them. I'm so pleased that she had this idea, it will help us all!

We are continuing down a path of assessment for Liam's speech delay. His development was evaluated in an "Early Childhood Developmental Evaluation" clinic (July 08) and will be reassessed in a few weeks. This evaluation looks at all aspects of Liam (cognitive, gross and fine motor, receptive & expressive speech). Specifically, there is concern that he may have what is termed "apraxia of speech". Here is the definition:
We will also have Liam assessed at Western Wa University speech program. Colin and I feel that having both assessments will be good because one is 'focused on speech' and the other looks at global development.

Whew! The next few days will be less eventful. We pray.

Tommy Adventures