The world of words…
We were told at the time of Chiara’s MRI findings that the likelihood of Chiara being able to develop speech was very unlikely.. mainly due to the severity of her brain injury as well as the area of the brain that has been injured… in her case the perisylvian area. The term “perisylvian” refers to the area (“peri” = about or around) of the brain called the sylvian fissure (lateral sulcus). This area acts as the brain’s language and speech centre… I recall one of the genetic doctors telling us that it was amazing that Chiara could even smile, based on her findings.. which gives you can idea of just how full-on her brain MRI presented.
In full Chiara has Bilateral (both sides) Perisylvian, Polymicrogyria (poly: means many, “micro” means very small, and “gyria” is the medical term for the brains wrinkles. Part of the brain injury is caused by a structural abnormality of an area deep in the temporal lobes of the brain, which is important in controlling movements of the mouth and tongue and in the production of language. It is usually caused by developmental abnormalities during the early stages of foetal development when the cerebral cortex in the operculum, deep in the temporal lobes, develops small irregular folds (gyri). In Chiara’s case, due to her stroke in utero.
Chiara is almost a year and a half, so naturally we are moving towards pre-communication therapies…. again a whole new world of learnings!! Our wonderful key-worker at Noah’s Ark has provided a little song book to get us started.. due to Chiara’s cerebral palsy, we have been told it is also unlikely she will develop the fine motor skills needed for Ausland Sign Language, so the images are another way of communicating with her….
You can read more of her symptoms here... dear Chiara.. what lies ahead I wonder?