Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Answered Prayers!

Six months ago, Janina's pediatrician, who also happens to be a Developmental Pediatrician suggested that she undergo a Developmental Assessment to find out which areas we would need to focus on in terms of therapy.  At that time, her scores showed that she was functioning like a 10month old child over-all and not like an 18month old.  Her weak areas were Hearing and Speech - particularly the Expressive side (where she was merely like a 6month old baby); the Eye-Hand Coordination (she hadn't had the syndactyly release yet); and on the Performance  Scales.  Because she scored low on 3 scales, the was considered to have Global Developmental Delay.  The pedia suggested that we go back to the Occupational Therapist so that the home activities created for us would focus more on developing her weaknesses.

The truth was, we were never able to go back to the OT.  First Janina had her hand surgery and the wounds needed to heal first.  Then we got busy, then the therapist got married and went on her honeymoon... and then it was time to go back for another assessment.

Imagine our surprise this morning when she got good scores on all scales except on the Hearing and Speech Scales!  Even her doctor was happy about it.

So although Janina understands our conversations with her, she really has difficulty in forming the sounds that would make her words audible.  She tries, and she tries very hard.  But to us, all her sounds come out the same.

The doctor says that it's possible that she may have Speech Apraxia - which according to Google is a motor speech disorder where children have problems saying sounds, syllables and words.  The muscles themselves are not the problem, its the area of the brain that tells the muscles how to move and what to do to make a particular sound or series of sounds that is either damaged or not fully developed.

When Janina was born and her sutures had not been opened up yet, we distinctly remember being told that from the MRI and CT Scans, it appeared that the portion of her brain that was compressed by the lack of space was the portion of the brain that affected speech.  That explains everything.

Of course, therapy will be next on our agenda and our Pedia referred us to someone whom she feels will be able to help Janina "learn" how to make the correct sounds.

For the meantime, we are still jubilant at her miraculous developmental growth.  I'm sure that will all the prayers coming her way, the Lord and Mama Mary listened and made sure that she would be a living testament to the healing powers of prayer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday, Janina!

Dearest Nina,

Congratulations on turning 2! Whenever I look at you, I can’t believe how fast time has flown.  Even your Titas and Titos are surprised at how much you’ve grown.

Did you know that when you were born, the doctor said you had brain atrophy? But none of us wanted to believe that, especially your Momma.  After you had your first surgery, it was obvious that your brain was not atrophied because you could easily understand and copy all the things that we do or say.  We know it was because Papa Jesus listened to all our prayers.   Looking at you and watching you grow, I know that your determination and your strong personality will allow you to reach whatever dreams you have.  You make Daddy and me very proud because you’ve showed us that nothing can stop you from doing something that you set your mind on.  We're glad that you don’t give up easily, we're glad that you know what you want and that you try your best to get what you want.  Keep it up, honey and know that your daddy, your mommy and your kuya will always be behind you every step of the way.

Guess what?  At this very early age, you are already showing signs of how much of a girl you are.  Initially, Dad and I had fears that you would turn out to be a tomboy because of how much you loved to play with Kuya’s cars.  But lately, you’ve become fascinated with your clothes, shoes, clips and bags!  You’re becoming kikay, my little one, and it makes you more endearing to all of us.

I love the fact that a simple look from Daddy can turn you giggling – you’re such a Daddy’s girl!  But don't worry because I don’t mind --- I was also a Daddy’s girl to your Mommo when he was around.  Hehehe.  Remember that aside from Daddy, your Kuya loves you to bits so please, be nice to him even if he kisses you so much to the point that it already irritates you.  Yes, your Kuya loves you more than anything and you should learn to love him as much, or at least to appreciate his affections toward you.  When you become adults, you will appreciate having him around, trust me.

So, Happy 2nd Birthday once again!  Keep learning, keep trying, and know that we will always be here for you no matter what.  We love you!

Daddy, Mommy and Kuya