As such things often are, Michael's pediatrician visit was oddly anti-climactic. I think I tend to build doctor visits up in my head as Super-Important-Life-Altering-Decision meetings when often they are pretty routine. Our pediatrician was -completely- uninterested in the tongue-tie. She had been educated that clipping a tongue-tie rarely fixes speech problems and didn't want to give it further thought.
I've been thinking about why the tongue-tie bothers me even though I know that Michael can produce 4/6 alveolar sounds. It bugs me that he cannot stick his tongue out horizontally and cannot lift his tongue up on command. If it isn't the tongue-tie restricting that movement I want to know what is. Is it weakness? If so, what is the origin of the weakness? Can habitual mouth breathing result in low enough tone to impact tongue strength? Our pediatrician was uninterested. She said, some people can curl their tongue up. Some can't. Perhaps Michael just can't lift his tongue. I have to say, I was unsatisfied.
She was, however concerned about the mouth breathing. After examining him, she declared his tonsils of normal size. She can't see his adenoids though and wants him to see an ENT to get an opinion about the tonsils/adenoids/sinuses. She said I could ask the ENT about the tongue-tie if I wanted another opinion.
Her bet however, based upon my husband's history of needing allergy shots as a child and Michael's history of eczema, is allergies. She referred us to an allergist and wants him to take Flonase at night and Claritin in the morning. The receptionist for the allergist told me that they always allocate time for skin testing even when scheduling an initial appointment so I need to pull him off the Claritin 5 days before the appointment just in case the doctor decides he needs skin testing.
Hmm. Skin testing my 4 year old. That sounds... interesting. Other than educating him before hand, bringing something distracting to watch on the iPad, and some super special treat for when he's done does anyone have any suggestions for what to expect or how to handle it?
Presumably, when we figure out why Michael can't breathe through his nose and address the underlying issue the mouth breathing will cease. Perhaps some improved tongue strength and mobility will follow? It'll be two weeks or more before we get through the specialist appointments and begin to get some answers (I hope). I sure do hate waiting.