- Cognitive Developement
- Physical Development
- Communication (receptive/expressive speech)
- Social & Emotional development
- Adaptive Development
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!