Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on Speech and Insurance - AKA the nitty gritty of parenting a cleft affected child

So far, Max's cleft hasn't been a big deal. The surgery and recovery weren't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. Day to day, speech is really our biggest issue and Max seems to be making really good progress with that. I really like our speech therapist. As you recall, his therapy is provided through infant toddler services of Johnson County until he is three. We were lucky enough that we got one of their therapists who is very knowledgeable about cleft and speech issues. Prior to his palate closure Max could make m and vowel sounds well and could do an occasional h, w, or n sound. Now he can do h and w well, n when he chooses, b and p well, d pretty well, t and f occasionally. This is with about 4 speech visits since surgery. Also, his language is exploding. He's always tried to say a lot and mimicked well, but it's unbelievable the things he's trying to say now. Off topic, but another thing that I've noticed lately is that his play skills have skyrocketed. When he first came home he really didn't know how to play with toys or with other kids. Now, every day he's playing more. He and Ellie love hide and seek, he loves to push around toy cars, trucks, and trains, he enjoys puzzles, and he's even doing some pretend play. Yesterday he was crawling around the house meowing and pretending to be a cat. Too cute! He also LOVES Spiderman. What is it with boys and Spiderman. We almost had a major meltdown the other night when his Spiderman pajamas were dirty. Thankfully mommy found a Spiderman t-shirt that worked.

On the insurance front we got the insurance company to agree to rereview the claim. We have the operative report describing why the vestibuloplasty was necessary from a cleft repair standpoint and we also have our insurance contract that specifically states that the dental exclusions do not apply to cleft repair issues. Hopefully that will be enough. If not, we'll be getting a letter from our surgeon and we will file an official appeal as well as sending letters to the state insurance commission and our state senators and representatives.


  1. Thanks so much for posting. It's always reassuring to read a post from someone a few steps ahead of us. We are 1 week post surgery, and at first Ty was trying some new sounds, but maybe it was just his swollen mouth because now he's back to "uh uh". :( We start private speech therapy on Jan. 5th because the speech through the preschool will not be enough. Thanks again!

  2. Wow! I'm super-impressed! Sounds like he is progressing well!!! Sadie is just now starting with the p and b ... a very rare d or t. ;)