Tuesday, August 11, 2009

His Voice

I've been a bit apprehensive about doing a blog lately. Maybe it's the busy summer days - running from swim lessons, to appointments, back home, only to go back out to get the things I forgot when I was out earlier! But in all honesty, there's been this huge cloud over my life lately...my Mister Moo to be exact. 

Landon has had his share of doctors appointments since the time he's been born. If it wasn't gastro issues it was reflux issues and the list of "issues" has continued to become longer along with the the questions and moments of uncertainty. At the age of one, Landon was diagnosed with benign hypotonia. We had no idea what this meant at the time and what was in store for our beautiful boy. But as time went on, and with the help of his amazing physical therapist, Landon became stronger and eventually met all of his "physical" milestones. 

As a mom, I knew something was still a bit off. Physically and cognitively, Landon was where he needed to be; however, red flags went up in his verbal abilities.  At 18 months, I felt he was a least a few months behind his peers. It was also difficult because his big sis was talking in small sentences by this age and the comparing came on strong! Although we are told "not to compare" as parents, this was MY child and it was impossible to avoid. 

My suspects became reality after his initial speech evaluation . For almost a year, we've been in therapy with appointments twice a week. Some weeks were amazing for Landon, other weeks were not so good. We've incorporated sign language into Landon's everyday life which has been an amazing tool for us. But lately, I feel like we've been at a bit of a road block. That's when doctor Sam came in and decided to do as much research as possible. I came across an awesome awesome book entitled "The Late Talker". At the time, I wasn't aware what type of  speech delay this book focused on but as I started reading, I couldn't stop! This book described Landon to a T. My emotions were filled with sorrow, relief, fear, optimism, and most of all hope. Finally, I was finding the answers I so desperately wanted and desired. Finally, I could help my son find HIS VOICE!
Through this book, I became aware of a condition called Apraxia. Apraxia of speech is a motor speech delay where children have great difficulty planning and producing the precise, highly refined and specific series of movements of the tongue, lips, jaw and palate that are necessary for intelligible speech. Cognitively, these children are either slightly ahead or right on track with their age. Landon understands everything we say, follows commands, and is able to do everything a normal developing two year old can do except in his verbal abilities. The words are there, they just can't come out.

After realizing the type of therapy Landon needed (which is different than a typical speech delay), we switched his therapist to a center that has already shown amazing promise in just two weeks. He is on EFA supplements (essential fatty acids) and is receiving group therapy that works on producing specific sounds rather than pure words. In this short time, Landon is using constants and vowels he's never attempted before. I'm overjoyed to say the least. I've seen the struggles he's gone through and the frustration when he so desperately wants to be heard! 

 From the time Landon was born, I knew what a special son we had! He melts my heart each and every day and we are beyond blessed to have to him in our lives! As a parent, all I want is the very best for him and I will  continue to be his voice until he finds his own one day!

 I feel like this HUGE burden has been lifted from me and now all I can do is trust in the One that gives me rest, truth, hope, love, faith, and healing.

You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in you
I trust in you

I believe
You're my healer
I believe
You are all I need
I believe 
You're my portion
I believe
You're more than enough for me
Jesus, you're all I need

Nothing is impossible for you
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for you
You hold my world in your hands


 Landon you were perfectly made and I love you right where you are! 


Donna said...

Landon is blessed to have a mom like you Sam-I have told you this before and I will tell you again-I am so proud of you for being so aggressive in the course of treatment he needed.He is such a wonderful child and each time I see him he verbalizes better than before.I know I will hear 'his voice' talking in sentences someday! Love you all

Megs said...

First off- what a great picture of Landon!!
Sam- I know this year has been hard- but your time, effort and love is very inspiring not only to Landon, but to those around you who witness it! I am so happy to hear the last few weeks have been full of strides..... I can't wait to hear miss k, luke, landon and drew chatting happily this winter as they play!!
Lots of love,

Kimberly said...

It's awesome that you have gone with your mommy instinct and persevered in your search for what Landon needed. I'm sure it's been tough for you not knowing exactly what the problem was but it's really exciting to hear how quickly he's made some progress. I hope that only continues and look forward to seeing videos on your blog of Landon saying all sorts of adorable things

Beth said...

This is a beautiful post Sam. It is so full of the love you have for Landon. I too am so impressed and I applaud the way you have fought for the truth and an "answer" to how to best encourage Landon in his journey. It just goes to show, no one loves your baby like you do. Love to you, and so sorry I haven't called you back, I owe you a call and can't wait to catch up!!