Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lingual Frenulum

Sticking one's tongue out is not something that I normally encourage. In fact, when Aidan or Emmy do it - in spite - it drives me nuts. It's rare that it happens because they know that an immediate time out is on it's way.
Aoife, on the other hand, was born with a short lingual frenulum. It's the piece of tissue under your tongue that connects it to the bottom of your mouth. Hers was so short that she couldn't stick her tongue out at all - the tip didn't come beyond her teeth. When she tried to stick her tongue out, the middle folded forward and the tip stayed in her mouth. I didn't realize it for the longest time and I should have - I even took this picture when she was 5 months old. It's really obvious now! She had surgery to clip the frenulum in October of last year and any ground in speech that was lost has been made up. She never seemed to have trouble eating because of it which is good. Now that she can say "N" and "L" sounds, she is awesome at it. She can say "yellow" perfectly - a word that is difficult even for some 5 year olds and has named all bunnies "na-na's" as if to show off her pronunciation abilities!!
She stuck her tongue out tonight in this picture and it makes me feel so good. I am so happy that we have the resources and the doctors to improve her quality of life. The surgeon who did her procedure told me that if we hadn't done the surgery she would have been "severely limited" in her speech. Now she will have a normal life thanks to him. I'm so grateful!

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