Jordan has had an ENT/hearing appointment and a vision exam in the last week or two. Results:
We are seeing an optometrist who specializes in developmental vision and vision therapy. As an added bonus, she is familiar with children from orphanage backgrounds. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that vision is very directly tied to activity and mobility. Coordinated motion, like crawling is involved with developing the coordination and movement of the eyes. Moving around and looking from short to far distances also effects vision (positively).
Think about Jordan’s background – a lot of time in a crib, very little mobility or reason to be interested in things beyond the range of his crib.
I’m so happy to have found this optometrist! Thanks Hollie!
On his first visit in January after just a month home: A significant stigmatism (in one or both eyes, I can’t remember) and pretty severe farsightedness. She didn’t think he should get glasses asap, because of his background. She hoped that the change in his circumstances and the hopeful increase in mobility would really improve his eyes. Going straight to glasses slows/stops/changes their development and she wanted to see what they could do on their own yet.
Four months later – the eye appointment today: The stigmatism is almost gone! And his farsightedness is still there and significant but has improved by at least 20%. Hoorah! So she wants one more point of reference to see how his eyes are developing before she decides on if glasses (probably) and if so, what strength. The idea is that it’s not good to get too strong of a prescription, but that we want him to be able to see well enough to develop best.
One sidenote that we talked about – she said that his eye development is definitely behind his almost three years. BUT, she is really happy with how his eyes have changed since coming home. Furthermore, she says his eye development is ON TRACK for his developmental age, which is early toddler… you know, like 12-18 months. So that’s great. As he develops in his gross motor (and other areas too, I think), his eyes will hopefully keep up just great. His eyes move with coordination, both move at the same time, his eyes track things very well, his eyes work together even when she had him crossing his eyes. haha (toddler eye exams involve playing on the floor with little toys and her holding a few lenses and a light in front of him.)
So – another checkup at the end of the summer to see how his eyes might have changed. I am to encourage him to look at things more than three feet away from him.
On hearing – his first behavioral hearing test (in the sound booth where they play noises and talk to him through the speakers) had him not responding to things under 50 decibels. This time it was 60-70 decibels. (yep – worse!) The first time he had a cold, this time his nose was dry. BOTH times he had fluid on his ears, according to the little air-puff machine they put in his ears. BTW – this is a much more traumatic appointment because he has to SIT STILL for more than a fraction of a second. Oh man, does he ever melt down when he’s restrained!
Anyway, we haven’t done the sedated ABR that measures brain response to what he’s hearing, but hopefully the issues with his hearing are:
a. Because of the fluid on his ears, which we can fix with tubes
b. Because he just isn’t interested in responding to voices and sounds coming through a speaker. (Who could blame him?)
The plan? Tubes. They’ll poke a little hole, put in a tube and suction the current fluid outta there. After a few weeks, we’ll go back for another hearing test. Really, I’m hoping that we’ll notice a change AT HOME. That’s where it really matters! I’m not looking forward to it – the early morning drive through traffic to OHSU, the fasting, the anesthesia, the groggy, confused, possibly nauseous boy afterwards. The hurting ears for a day or two. (they do hurt for a day or two, right? I can’t imagine they wouldn’t!) But I’m hopeful that this will really help with communication and interaction.
On nose and throat – yes, his tonsils are big. Are they big enough to warrant taking them out? Good question. Are they causing significant sleep apnea? We don’t know. I know he’s restless at night but I don’t know why. He hasn’t had infected tonsils since being home. (yay!) So… pros and cons friends… do we get them out or not? The ENT suggested a sleep study to find out about apnea. I’d rather just decide “yes” or “no” without the additional lifetime spent at the doctor’s office. Although, it could be interesting to go to a sleep study. Maybe they’ll let me be the one that sleeps!?
Tubes scheduled for May 31st.