Monday, March 10, 2008

Speech Evaluation

I signed Nathan up to be evaluated for speech issues. Alabama has an FREE early intervention program for children that qualify. They came to the house for the evaluation. They also checked other areas beyond language - such as motor skills, emotions, and the like.

Two ladies did the evaluations. They asked general family questions and some medical history on Nathan. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until they asked how many words he uses on a consistent basis. My answer was 35 - 50. Apparently that's WAAAAYYYY too many for him to qualify for the program. That really floored me! He's 28 months old and doesn't speak more than 35-50 words. As they dwelled there, I took a moment and said, "Ok, let me think about this because maybe I'm giving him more credit than he deserves." One of the ladies told me to start naming the words he uses (or tries to) and she'd write them down. When I got to 10 words, the other lady said that she's going to pretend she didn't hear the 10th word because that would disqualify him on her end of the test. 10 words would disqualify a 28 month old! Wow. (To be fair though, it's not just the 10 words. Her test is averaged between speech and comprehension. He comprehends just fine, so that throws the average... but still!) Anyway, they continued through the test saying they would do the final evaluation towards the benefit of Nathan.

They also had him stack blocks, put like objects together, choose which object does which task (spoon for eating, shoe for the foot, etc). Then they pulled out a sheet of paper with some black and white pictures on it and asked him to point to certain ones (a car, shoe, dog, etc). Then asked him to say what the object was when they pointed to it. (What's this? He answers.) Oh, yes, he answered... EVERY SINGLE TIME! Ugh. He said something for every picture that at least resembled the correct word. My mouth dropped. I was astonished. I know the kid passed the test with flying colors. I know he won't qualify. I also now know for certain that he's a stubborn little bugger that can talk when he wants to.

Oh well! I'm thankful to know that he is doing fine (as far as the state of AL is concerned anyway - go ahead... insert funny Alabama redneck joke here; I won't mind). The evaluators did make the standard suggestions for helping him along (ie don't give in unless he says something, don't ask yes/no questions where he can just nod his head, make him say something when he signs, etc). To be honest, I've already been using these ideas for a while now and I have seen an increase in his attempts at talking. I've heard about 5 new words in the last few days alone!

I also was able to see how excited he was to sit down and do some one on one things with these ladies. I need to take advantage of the times Will is in school and Witt is asleep - when it's just the two of us. He'll probably really start to thrive when I give him some EXTRA attention! :) Poor little thing...mama doesn't love you enough... ha! Seriously though, I am going to make an extra effort with him.

This mothering thing sure isn't easy. Once you think you're getting into a groove, something else pops up...


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orryally said...

At least you know now, though, and don't have to worry. It probably fits into the category of taking him to the Dr. too soon to make sure and finding out he's healthy, which is better than too late to find out he's been suffering with a broken elbow for two and a half days (just hypothetically speaking, of course). Glad to hear it's just middle child neglect syndrome (ha ha, just kidding ya). I am often concerned too that my current youngest, probably to be middle someday, will not get as much love as my others either!

Anonymous said...

Yep that is what I say middle child syndrome. Starving for attention. come on Becky where is the Love....hahaah...I am just kidding you are a great mom.

Kim White

Foxy5 said...

I enjoyed reading what goes on in an evaluation. My 3 year old (just turned 3 in Feb) is not a big talker. I was worried about it but hesitated to call a speech therapist in because I didn't want to label him. I didn't want to deprive him if he really needed help either. But after reading about your experience I do believe my little guy would fall into the same category. I think he's very smart and just saves talking for when he wants to talk. He amazes me at times. Last week he names all of his shapes! Where did THAT come from? Thank you for this post. (and the link to it from TTT!) :) This has really helped me.

Lulu said...

First things first, I love the picture! It's so male.

I'm glad to hear things went well. At least now you know where Nathan is with his speech, and that it's sometimes a matter of whether or not he wants to say something. The strong silent types are very popular with the ladies though, so watch out!

mom24 said...

Oh my goodness - this sounds just like what we're dealing with in our 27 month old! I haven't been worried but everyone around me is always pushing and poking about getting speech therapy. We finally are set to get an evaluation and I'm sure that it will be the same - he'll know just a bit too much. And we'll be just as frustrated! He signs about 7-8 things and is starting to say the beginning or ending consonant sounds for about 15 different words (ca - car, wawa - water, ert-shirt, etc). We are still the only ones who can understand him though and still need help!
When we were at the psychologist today (dealing with getting our 5yo dd evaluated for learning disabilities - long story there too) she said that as a tax payer, you need to push, push, push for these services for your child.
So if you're frustrated enough - push harder to get them to give you speech therapy (be the squeaky wheel)! I'll let you know how our evaluation goes later. Hope that Nathan continues to progress quickly! THanks for posting so that others don't feel so alone in this!

Nowheymama said...

That is so interesting! I've been wondering where our little guy falls in the spectrum.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice message. I'm finally back to blogging and look forward to reading more of your site. Your boys are gorgeous!

I love your dairy-free blogger cow. Where did you get it?

Super B's Mom said...

As I always say, "Just when you're getting good at the game, the rules change..."

Way to go Nathan on kicking butt on the speech evaluation! ;)

Super B was in speech therapy at age 3 because of a stutter. I would describe how "severe" it was....then during class he wouldn't miss a beat. The teacher (who was an angel) would just smile and say, "I think he's just fantastic."

Glad to hear it all worked out well.

CC said...

I'm a Speech Pathologist and I think it's great you did the eval! You never know if he could have gotten extra help if you didn't go through the process. And now you know what he can do so he can't pull the wool over your eyes ;)