It was a great morning. Finding a new member for Team Ethan was a great way to begin our Thankful Week.
We had Ethan’s full speech evaluation. For his receptive language (what Ethan understands), she tested him all the way to the 7-year old test, which is Ethan’s current age. That is not to say that he has the receptive language of a typical 7-year old because he did miss some (but not many) of the concepts, so he did not score 100%. But, he did make it that far, which will likely indicate, once the test is scored, that he is probably at around a 6-year old with receptive language. That is huge, and in and of itself shows the great progress that Ethan has made.
The speech therapist does believe that Ethan likely has verbal or oral apraxia, just based on what she witnessed today while testing him, checking his mouth, and listening to him talk. The other possibility is dysarthria, which she thought could be the diagnosis based on his medical history of low muscle tone. For now, she will basically be treating both because she will be focusing heavily on oral motor exercises twice per week for 30 minute sessions, with an additional emphasis on some apraxia exercises. She said that it is not easy because it is basically a work-out for his mouth, so he will likely get frustrated at times. But, they have an awesome little children’s gym there that he loved, so he will be able to take 2-3 minute breaks in the gym.
Overall, I believe that it was a very great morning. Finding out that his receptive language has come so far was huge. We always tell people that Ethan understands everything. Now we have the proof. And, while a verbal or oral apraxia diagnosis is not great news, it is definitely something that we can work with because he can receive very targeted therapy for it. So, for that, we are extremely happy.
Again, we are thankful for a specialist who already seemed to really care about getting our Ethan better. She was humored by him and loved how he acted out all of the stories, pictures, and activities. If you ever play charades, you definitely want Ethan on your team. Of course, in my opinion, every team is better with my sweet Ethan.