May 14, 2012

Wonder Boy–Part One

I get lots of e-mails asking me all sorts of questions – from blog design, to challenge related, to camera questions, and adoption questions – definitely those.  But the questions I seem to get the most of lately are about Quint.  With that in mind, I thought you might like to sit in on a bird’s eye view into our life this past year…

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I’ll say this upfront as I do with all of my heartfelt and very personal posts:  No judgment.  No advice.  Just me sharing with you.  OK?

Many of you know that Quint has struggled tremendously since infant-hood.  We have been through many processes to weed out the theories and cling to the truth for his sake.  We have pursued with dogged tenacity his health and well-being.  If you’re new to the “show”, Quint has always been a handful, to put it mildly.  Despite being a happy boy, as he has developed we have noticed many challenges rise up from the backdrop.  If you were to read through the history of this blog, you would find posts written in angst about his stubborn will, posts about his poor health, posts about his surgery, posts about his sensory issues.  Posts and more posts…on and on. 

Still, I just can’t help but talk about it for those mothers out there who are in the same boat and just don’t know where to start.  I should say that every child is so different.  Yes, some symptoms can be the same – and some behaviors can be identical.  But the overall picture is rarely a carbon copy.  You may read this post and “see” your child, but more than anything, what I urge you to do is find a starting place and start pursuing.  Wherever that takes you – just find a place to start and don’t give up!

We have tried for four years to understand what our boy was facing.  Particularly the last two years, which were spent in almost a constant state of frustration, upset, tears and wounded spirits.  Let’s re-visit:

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  • Adopted at 6 months old.  When we received him into our care, he was diagnosed with double perforations in both eardrums, was oozing green from his ears, and was placed on breathing treatments.
  • At 9 months – a very stubborn and strong willed child emerged, taking over our lives.  He dominated us.  We are strong, stubborn adults.  He still took us to the mat every. single. day.
  • By 12 months he was walking and showed signs of being highly intelligent, but he was non-verbal.
  • By 18 months, he still could not say “mama”.  He could say Dada, but only when prompted.
  • He was put in Early Childhood therapy with twice weekly visits to the home.
  • By age 2, he was still essentially non-verbal.  He would use some basic words, but did not use sentences.  We enrolled him in private school two days a week which helped tremendously with his speech and understanding. 
  • His sister came home from China and he became physically aggressive and very combative.  It was totally unpredictable, and he could not be left alone with her for even a moment.
  • At age 3, he started to speak in two to five word “sentences”, but still extremely difficult to understand.  No annunciation present.  Only sounds you could partially make out as words.
  • Significant testing leads to a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder.  We are skeptical, as all of the symptoms don’t fit – but we enroll him in a special education school to get him hands on care for SPD.
  • Nine weeks into the program, we see no change and instead, a frustrated and angry 3 year old who seems worse than when he began the program.  We un-enroll him and move on to more testing.
  • Age Four and after months of testing, doctor appointments, specialists, and more tests, he is diagnosed with bi-lateral recurrent eardrum perforation.  His hearing was below 60%.  We are told he has likely never heard a consonant sound.  He is found to have abnormally large adenoids and tonsils, and constant mucus blockage in his ears and throat. 
  • September 2011 – he begins Speech Therapy twice a week.
  • November 2011 – he has surgery to remove his tonsils, adenoids, and have tubes placed in both ears.
  • Post surgery: Despite an improvement in his speech through therapy and his surgery (which rendered him in the top 90% for hearing) his combative behavior does not stop, and in fact, becomes worse.

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We desperately needed a new plan and new hope.

And this mama was not giving up on her boy…

There's another post coming that tells the beauty of of our progress and some solid solutions that have worked for our family and for Quint. 

Just need some time to write it all out...

{to be continued}

6 comments :

Ms. Pollywog said...

Thanks for taking a risk and sharing with us. As always you children are gorgeous, and these latest pics are no exception. I'll be interested in seeing what you've been learning about Quint and how to help him.

PS. I got a Picture People flyer in the mail a while back and smiled and jumped up and down as I "knew" that little model smiling back at me. That was just awesome!
http://funnylittlepollywogs.com

Wife, Mother, Zookeeper said...

Oh my goodness. I thought the surgery had solved the issues! I wasn't aware that you all were still struggling. My heart goes out to you Mama, and to your beautiful boy. I, as always, admire your patience and tenacity as you face your challenges. My respect to you and other mothers who face the same challenges. <3

Single PAP said...

oh my, my heart goes out to you as well. i'm sure you have done all the research out there but i was wondering if you have tried dietary changes. i read all the time about children with behavioral challenges who become different people when going gluten/dairy/sugar free. also there are kids who respond poorly to preservatives or sprays on crops or artificial anything. have you researched the feingold diet or tried any type of elimination diet with him? while doing all the tests i would immdiately put him on a special diet since there are no ill effects to eating a clean diet free of processed foods.

just a thought.
joy
x

Anna said...

Big hugs to you! Can't wait to read the rest!

The Gang's Momma! said...

I canNOT wait to read the following part(parts?)... What you guys are walking through, will be walking through? WOW. I pray in JESUS NAME that it will all, always, be to HIS glory and to the building of HIS kingdom. And that it cements into little Q's heart that he is loved beyond measure, forever and always. That last part?

the line... "And this mama was not giving up on her boy…" - PRICELESS for burying that message into his heart!!!!!

Jen said...

No judgement... just love here.