Well, months went by and I didn't really see any improvement. The thing about Bennett, is that he's a hyper-active kid. Obviously, most toddlers are hyper and have a lot of energy, but for real, my kid is INSANE. All he wants to do it run around, climb, play, run around some more, climb some more, get into trouble, rough house... etc.
But learning activities? Like coloring, puzzles, flash cards, singing songs, reading books....etc... they all last about a total of 2-3 minutes, if that. Again, most toddlers have a short attention span but my kid is no joke. It's all I can do to get him to sit still long enough to eat his oatmeal in the morning.
So back to his speech and communication, or lack there of. All of the aforementioned things are what I believed, were hindering his speech development. Those things, plus the fact that he has figured out other ways to get what he wants.
And then, there's me. I take responsibility as well. I am sure that I could have done MUCH better from the beginning in not just giving him everything he wanted when he pointed to it. Just because I KNEW what he wanted, doesn't mean he shouldn't ask for it. I get that now.
Well enough is enough. It was time for us to be proactive about it. This morning, I took him to SKIP - which is an early intervention center funded through the State of Washington. We had his initial speech evaluation. At first I was a little nervous because Bennett is like deathly afraid of the doctors office, or anything that looks legit. But when we got there, it was actually a house with all kinds of toys and things for him to do. He warmed up to the Family Resources Coordinator and the Speech Therapist fairly quickly. Thank goodness! He immeditately started playing with them, and both of the ladies noticed right off the bat, that he has an unusual amount of energy, ha ha. But they did the best they could to get him to focus and do the tasks they needed him to do (nonchalantly of course) to complete the evaluation. So throughout the session - they were busy jotting things down and giving him "scores" in various areas such as:
- gross and fine motor skills
- cognitive/play skills
- language (receptive and expressive) skills
- social skills
- adaptive (self-help) skills
- vision and hearing
So what does this mean for Bennett? Well it means a speech therapist will come and visit our home once a week (or every other week) to work with Bennett, and with us as parents. The therapists will help us to find ways to cope with his inattentive behavior and help develop his speech and communication skills. And once he turns 3 y/o, if we choose to continue with therapy, Bennett will be moved to a program within our school district. But one step at a time. I will keep the blog updated with Bennett's progress. I am really hopeful that this will help. I mean, it can't hurt right??
And seriously, if you have a toddler and you are at all concerned about his/her speech development, it's never too early to get an evaluation. It's intimidating and kind of brings up a mixed bag of emotions, but early intervention is KEY! And most states offer programs like the one we have here in WA. I strongly urge you to look into it!