14 January 2013

Bennett's 3 year speech assessment

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.



10 comments:

Joeylee said...

Thats great! Your son is absolutely adorable!!

Aliya said...

Ok, 1. he is so freaking cute, I can't stand it. Like seriously, that picture? I die.

2. I am so proud of YOU, Mama for helping him. So many mothers ignore the fact when their child seems to be presenting developmental issues, and I applaud you for stepping up and realizing you are doing what is best for your boy. Standing ovation! :)

Brandee said...

Thanks so much for sharing! We're just getting started with speech therapy. It helps to hear someone elses experiences.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, Mandy, you will get there and little BEnnett is going to be just fine in due time. You are so wise to confront this while he is still so young and I imagine you will be super surprised at how much he progresses over the coming months. Blessings to you!

Matt and Jen McEvoy said...

I have a friend who is a speech pathologist and she just started up a website for parents to help them help their children at home with their language development. I don't know a lot about speech therapy or anything but maybe her website will have something that will help you or I am sure you could contact her directly through the website with questions. The website is letsgrowspeech.com. Good luck, I hope Bennett gets better and that you are able to figure out a situation that works for him and your family!

Nikki said...

I love that you're sharing your experience. I sent your first blog post to a friend who was going through the same thing. Glad things are on the up and up, I imagine if he struggles the new therapist will hopefully refer you. You should ask Carolyn about this, she does speech pathology for the school district. What a ridiculously good lookin kid!

Courtney K. said...

He is such a handsome boy! We found that Noah's speech drastically improved when he started interacting with other kids more frequently. Especially kids who were a bit older and spoke a bit more clearly. Praying that you guys stumble onto some options that will be perfect for your family and for Bennett! :)

Emily Peck said...

It's so great to hear how much he's improved, I'm sure he will continue to do great even in his new program!! What a handsome boy (and I can't believe he's almost THREE!!)

Mindi @ Simply Stavish said...

I'm so excited to hear that he has made such fantastic progress. However, you have reached that frustrating point where he is still very much behind and needs speech therapy but the school system doesn't see it a big enough need. Welcome to the world of public education. :( It can be very frustrating. Good luck exploring all the speech therapy options. It can be overwhelming. Do you have any local university programs? If a university has a speech and language program they often have a clinic that provides speech therapy at a very reduced rate. It's something to look in to! If you need any more help finding a SLP check out my post on it. http://stavishclan.com/2012/09/how-to-locate-speech-language-pathologist.html

Let me know if you have any questions relating to speech/language. I would be more than happy to help anytime!!

Tabitha said...

Is the preschool program at the school district only for children who need the extra help or can anyone pay to be in the program? My son goes to the preschool program at the elementary school, it is a mix of kids with disabilities and kids without, we have to pay since my son doesn't have a disability but it is a great program. The OT/PT/Speech come into the classroom to work with certain kids but they have told us if we have any concerns they will take a look at the child.