28 October 2013

Developmental Assessment: The Results

If you read my post last week, you know that Bennett was scheduled for another comprehensive evaluation through Child Find. This is a screening process that determines where he's at in 5 different areas:
  • Cognitive Developement
  • Physical Development
  • Communication (receptive/expressive speech)
  • Social & Emotional development
  • Adaptive Development
He's been clearly behind in a few of these areas, but as I mentioned last week, it's becoming more and more obvious the older he gets.


On Friday, we spent almost 3 hours with a speech pathologist, a school psychologist, and an occupational therapist. Together, they put Bennett through a series of tests and tasks to gauge his development. Let's just say that we're not sure how accurate the results are, because no  joke, my kid will not focus or stay on task for longer than 15 seconds. So it was extremely hard to measure his progress. But.. here is what they established.

As of last year, based on the states standardized testing, Bennett had a 25% expressive/receptive speech delay. But as of Friday, his status has been moved from a "Mild Speech Delay" to a "Mild-Moderate Developmental Delay."

This is because the assessment showed that Bennett now has a delay in both his speech and his social/adaptive development. The psychologist thinks that his social skills are being hindered as a result of his communication issues... which totally makes sense. But because he has a delay in two areas, he has qualified for the school districts special education preschool that will incorporate his speech therapy into his class, as well as address the other areas he struggles with. I have such mixed emotions about this. On one hand, my heart is hurting that it's been confirmed that my little boy has a developmental delay and I just hate there is such a stigma around it. But on the other hand, I'm so happy that he will be able to get the extra help and special attention that he so badly needs!

The special ed preschool is 4 days a week, Monday-Friday from 9-11:45am. But as much as I am looking forward to Bennett being placed in a school to suit his needs, I am weary about pulling him out of his "normal" preschool setting. He just LOVES his current preschool. And I think that him being around kids his age, that are at the average academic level, will be good for him. He needs to have that normalcy. It will give him a good examples of what to strive for and push him to want to work harder with the things he struggles with.


So here is what we've decided to do going forward.

I'm going to send him to the specialized preschool program twice a week, on Tuesday's and Thursday's. But I'm also going to keep him in his regular preschool class on Monday's & Wednesday's. I'm hoping that this will give him a good balance between both worlds.

I just hope I'm making the right decision. We're meeting in a few weeks to create his IEP (Individualized Education Program). Which is just a plan that outlines the services he will be receiving (and will be updated every 6 months) and sets goals for him. And after out next meeting, he'll start at the new preschool on December 2nd.  

We have a long road ahead of us, with a lot of obstacles to overcome, but I am hopeful that this is the right solution! And the professionals have all agreed that they believe with this program, Bennett will be all caught up by the time he gets to grade school! I will keep posting updates as we continue on this journey! And thank you all for all of your sweet comments of encouragement!! It means the world to us.

Side note: I have received a few e-mails asking about how we went about researching and receiving early intervention services for Bennett. This is a great resource that will tell you a little about it you're interested!

24 comments:

Deanna @ From Casinos To Castles said...

What a great plan! I think that's a great idea to keep him in the preschool he loves as well as start the new one. It will definitely make for a smoother transition! I can imagine your heart is torn. :-( Hugs to you!

Erin said...

Mandy I think this is a great plan! And even though I can imagine its tough to hear he needed a little more help, how wonderful your community has the help to offer you all! I hope the two days a week at his new preschool will help, and I bet his current school will create a nice balance. Sending prayers for all of you during this new season!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

thanks for sharing this here. I appreciate your honesty about the situation and can definitely relate to you feeling glad he will get help but at the same time upset that he needs it. my son is older and has been through speech and feeding therapy. now he is going to be evaluated for fine motor skills because his teacher sees a problem with his writing ability (he's in 1st grade). so we'll see how that goes. I do think you're doing the right thing by keeping him in his current school 2 days per week. good luck with everything!

Laura Railing said...

I used to work in a daycare and as heartbreaking as the diagnosis was, no matter what kind it was, it was more heartbreaking for parents to be in complete denial at anything being wrong and get upset at us. It gets harder and harder as time goes by to accept anything and to get past pride and put the child's needs first. You guys are awesome parents! I think that is a really wise choice to do 2 days a week of each. You could see how it went and then eventually do more of the recommended preschool program as he adjusts. Hugs girly!! Praying for you!

Fran said...

I'm sorry your fears were confirmed but like you said, now he can get the help he needs. And that sounds like such a great plan, it will make for a smooth transition but still allow for that extra push he needs. Sending lots of love your way!

JenniferAStreet said...

I've actually seen SOO much progress from our 3 1/2 year old from going to the state ran preschool. He's not fully caught up yet but he's doing things like repeating things when we ask and attempting to say things where as before... not so much. My son goes Mon-Thurs and they have a couple of peer models in the class as well as being able to intermingle with the regular pre-k class fr 45 mins a week.. Good luck to Bennett :)

Meg O. said...

Wow, Mandy! What a difficult thing for y'all to be going through right now, but I am so glad that you were able to get some answers and feel confident about the assessment. I think that's a great decision to keep him at a regular preschool along with the one that will work specifically with his needs. It's so awesome you are catching this so early because it seems like he will be able to learn and not need so many services down the road! I'll be thinking about y'all :)

jen_schoeph said...

As difficult as it is, remember you are moving forward, you are trying anything and everything available to you. You are working towards the great good of your son. He is getting the help he needs. There should be no judging from anyone on that. Much luck to you all!

Cindy @ Cinsarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy @ Cinsarah said...

Mandy my son was in the special ed program as well. He started when he was three and it helped him SO MUCH! He graduated from the program just before entering Kinder and he's been good so far. I think this will be a GREAT thing for both you and Bennett :)

Linds said...

I was SO nervous about Brayden being tagged with a "special ed" label going into school. But after talking it over with teacher friends and others, I really feel like even though they may be placed in that category, they are also given the help they need to thrive. It's SO hard as a mom to watch your kid lag behind in something. Hoping that the therapy he gets will help him catch up!

Mrs. Mama said...

I was nodding in my head, yes yes yes when you wrote about having him in both. What a great idea, and you are such a loving mother Mandy! He is beautiful boy and will thrive in both settings! Will be thinking about you guys xox

Krista said...

As a fellow blogger, your honesty with these tough issues is awesome and inspiring. Your plan sounds great and I can't wait to hear all about how well Bennett is going to do!!

Kiara Buechler said...

I love your idea of keeping him in his current pre-school and adding in the two days at the other school. You are going to be a busy lady driving him all over the place, I hope the new place is close by! Were you able to get him a morning spot in his current school?

Michelle said...

I know it breaks your heart to see him going through these delays, but I have seen moms totally ignore their kids needs and they get even further behind. No one's kids are perfect, but they are yours. God gave them to you and they are so special. I think maybe seeing you do the right thing for your boy might help other moms get the courage to do the same. I think what you are doing is awesome and I think it makes you an awesome, incredible Mom. You should be very proud of yourself :)

Stephanie Clark said...

You are doing such a great job by trying to do what's best for him! From someone who has worked in the school system (as a mental health therapist - I worked with lots of kids with ADHD/behavior disorders at my last job) no parent wants to hear the words Special Education, because there is a stigma as you mentioned, but how wonderful would it be if every kid had an Individualized Education Plan just for them to make SURE they excel in the areas they are lacking? The new preschool will be normal to him and he will do great!

fifth house on the left | family blog said...

i'm so glad you have found a solution to help sweet bennett! i could have written this post word for word about rawley. we has just been approved for speech therapy at 2.5 and he will be evaluated in january to proceed with a specialized preschool if we need it. he currently has been going to preschool for 2 year olds for almost a couple months now and he has finally adjusted there and is happy, it REALLY breaks my heart and tears at me to possibly withdrawal him from there in january. i don't know how i'm going to make that choice, but i know that sending him to the new preschool will be good for him so they can teach him how to speak. it's such a hard situation to be in.

i did have a question for you. has bennett's speech delay hinder easton's development at all? seeing that obviously easton learns so much from big brother. i'm worried that dawson will be delayed {although he hasn't been so far, he has actually excelled in those areas already where rawley wasn't at his young age} watching rawley "not" speak or verbalize to get what he wants. i try to be more aware of pointing to communicate and saying words to dawson that i probably wasn't that aware of with rawley so hopefully this won't be an issue for him, but i've always wondered if you are going through that with easton or if things are different this time around. my boys are 18 months apart so things are sort of new on both sides of the spectrum over here.

hugs mamma! i'm so glad you are talking more about bennett and his speech delay. hopefully it will help us mammas going through the same situation as you :)

Megan Landmeier said...

We love, love, love our special ed preschool! And since it's housed at the elementary school, Ellie gets great speech models through not only her school friends and teachers, but all the big kids at school, too!

Jodi said...

Good for you for having him seen again and then figuring out a plan that works best for your family. I think you will see major growth/improvement once he goes to the new school. The teachers and specialists are so great at teaching little ones to develop into their full potential. My nieces are in the program in their town for kids who need EI. They are both model students so that there is a mix of kids w/ special needs and some w/ none to hopefully model for the kids. It is a good mix and seems to work really well. Plus I love that they get exposed to all different types of kids w/ all different abilities. My niece Peyton is so sensitive and sweet to all the kids and I love seeing that part of her heart. Anyways good for you! You seem like such a great mom.

Amanda Dement said...

You are a great mama! And I think you are doing what's best for him. He is such an amazing special little boy and anyone would be lucky to be friends with him :-) Hugs to you!

Sarah Halstead said...

I think that is a great plan. Carsyn goes to the Special Pre-K program 4 days a week. But he doesn't really have a choice. I don't think any regular Pre-K program would take him since he has so many needs. Praying for you mama and if you ever need to talk I am here.

twomiracles said...

My girls were born 3 months early and our smallest has always been behind in everything, she just now made it onto the growth chart and she is 4 1/2 and even at that she is only in the 5th percentile still :). Anywho they were both behind in speech and had a few other delays and we had help me grow and then sent them to an "early intervention" preschool and it was the best decision my husband and I have ever made. I couldn't be happier with how well everything has gone. They are now 4 and in the same preschool again, however, they are already above a preschool level. They have learned so much and their speech skills have drastically improved. Good luck and I hope you have the same success that we did.

Mindi @ Simply Stavish said...

Your such a good mom for sharing all this with the blogging community. You don't know many families I worked with in the 7 years I worked in pediatrics that wish they had other parents to turn to who "get it" and are going through what they are going through. I'm glad to hear you are going to do 2 days per week in both classes- I think that will be really good. I agree having peer models is SO important! Looking forward to hearing how the IFSP meeting goes and the new classroom. Will he be at the same school or a different one?

MrsMcDancer said...

I struggled with the label being placed on my son, but I soon realized that as long as I don't allow it to define him, it won't and the special Ed preschool class has brought out so many great new skills in him. Good luck to your son and he is lucky to have a mom that cares so much and is willing to craft an educational plan that really benefits him!