It's been a while since I've posted an update about how Bennett's speech therapy was going! Because he started therapy when he was 2 1/2, we've been in the SKIP program through the state. But they only cover up until 3 years old (he turns three on jan 26!), so this month, he had to be evaluated again, only this time through the school district. I kinda just assumed that his evaluation would qualify him into the developmental preschool through the school district... which is kind of a next step if he still had a "delay".
On Friday, I took Bennett to a local elementary school to have him re-evaluated, since the last time was back in August. When we got there, we first had this vision & hearing tested, and he passed with flying colors. After that, we headed to the preschool on campus to meet with the teachers and therapists. There was a team of them (a preschool teacher, school psychologist, speech pathologist, occupational therapist), and each one assessed a different area.
Cognitive, Adaptive/Self-Help, Social-Emotional, Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Expressive Language, Receptive Language, Articulation.
To give you an outline: Bennett would have had to have had a moderate delay in two of these areas, or a severe delay in one of the areas, to have qualified for the school's preschool program.
After the results of his evaluation, I learned that he had scored a lot higher than his initial evaluation 5 months ago.. which was great news because that meant he was progressing a lot. But that also meant that he did not qualify for their preschool program. This was both good & bad news for me. And I will explain why....
Obviously, it's wonderful that he's not "delayed" enough to have needed the extra help via the special preschool program. I am so happy that he's doing well and that he's made significant progress. His cognitive, adaptive, social, fine & gross motor skills are perfect, so he got great scores in those areas. But when it comes to his expressive/receptive language he is still really struggling a lot. For expressive, he scored in the "normal" range, but he was just BARELY over the line of "normal". And he scored in the bottom 20% for his receptive language, and that is considered a moderate delay. But since he only scored "moderately delayed" in one category, he won't be attending the preschool. Which would have been so beneficial for him! It's almost frustrating because he is so borderline with those two scores, that I feel like I would have almost just rather him have qualified, because then he'd get extensive speech therapy incorporated into the class, 4 days a week -- and ALL through the school district.
But, because he does have a slight delay in his receptive speech, he will be continuing speech therapy. But instead of our current situation, with his therapist coming to out home for an hour once a week.... he'll be meeting with the speech pathologist at the elementary school one day a week for only 30 minutes. Since it's through the school district, this therapy will still be free, which is good. But I kinda feel disappointed that he won't be going for longer periods of time, or more frequently. I know that I can put him in private speech therapy and use our insurance, but even with our coverage, it's really expensive.
So I guess that I am just going to have to try even harder to work with him in developing his language. He has a good base, but he really struggles with focusing and being attentive. It has been such a challenge for us, and for him. I really feel like he needs more professional interaction. I will have to look into my options more extensively.
At the end of the day, though, I am so proud of my little man. He's thriving and excelling in so many areas! I know we have work to do with getting him to talk and communicate better, but we'll get there, I know we will.