Normally, when I write about Goldie's drinking, it's a post brought on by frustration and fear. So much has changed since April when I wrote this. I made another appointment with the ENT. He recommended speech therapy. At that point she had been seen by 5 different speech therapists and 4 occupational therapists. (And had been receiving both on a weekly basis for years) We discussed doing another swallow study and even using a scope to see what was going on. I went home and talked to yet another ST about the value of these tests for Goldie. My husband and I decided we would try one last thing before subjecting Goldie to more tests.
Goldie had started private speech and OT in April, so by the beginning of June she was feeling very at home with them. I explained to them that Goldie's #1 problem was drinking and getting enough fluids. The very next week they began co-treating for 15 minutes each week. Then the following 15 minutes the OT continued working with Goldie on drinking and other oral motor exercises.
Goldie's progress has been nothing short of astounding! Within two weeks we no longer had to thicken anything she drank. They immediately identified which straw cup (of the many we own) worked best for Goldie. After 4 weeks I could put water in her cup. This is huge because she always choked on plain water. Now she is able to drink from a small open cup at mealtimes and can have juice boxes/pouches when we are at picnics. It was so nice to take the kids to the park and just throw a Capri Sun in the bag for each of them. I love the way she holds on to the top of the pouch and sips from the straw. Very cute!
Now, we just have to work on her brother's food "issues". He has a gag reflex that just won't quit and a very sensitive system.