Nathan's therapist and I have both been doing research to try and identify the cause of Nathan's speech problem. He is very nasal, expends too much air trying to get consonants out and has to breathe in the middle of words. He cheats when making certain sounds and is able to come pretty close to the sound but not quite. and leaves some sounds off completely because it is too hard to make it come out.
So after lots of thought and looking, we have both pretty much come to the same conclusion. We think he has what they call a velopharyngeal insufficiency caused by a submuccos cleft of the palate. In English, the muscles above the palate that control the valve between nose and mouth are not fully formed, they are divided, or the nerves don't reach fully into them. And internal cleft palate.
We discussed this today, and while she is pretty sure (as am I) she still wants to do some more observations so she knows what to look for during the tests. I am finding myself a bit impatient and want to go ahead with evaluations by a cleft palate team in Salt Lake, I understand why she wants to wait. It's hard though. She has observed him twice a week for a couple of months, I observe him all day, every day, for the last 3 1/2 years. Who would know him better? I actually understand a lot of what I read about it, which is nice for both her and I.
So we will plod on with the therapy for a while longer, let her get a better feel for his oral capablilites, and then it's off the ENT for more nasoscopes (fiber optics inserted into the nose to have a look around), this time with little strobe lights and videotaping and such. Whee! And then eventually we'll head down to Salt Lake City and see if they think it can be fixed. Cross your fingers.... But this will all take months to do. I think the Lord is trying to teach me patience. I think I could do without the refresher course.... :-)
But at least the therapist and I are on the same page, and we agree on the possible diagnosis. That's something anyway!