Thursday, February 7, 2008

Speech Evaluation results

Yesterday was my meeting with the speech therapist to discuss the results of Bella's evaluation back in January.
I learned that Bella has a severe language disorder, and will not be going to speech therapy twice a week.
She scored well in the Expressive Communication subtest, meaning she can answer with one word answers or short sentences. Bella can label simple objects she saw, she showed understanding of plurals and she could tell the therapist what actions people were doing in pictures.
Bella had difficulty making three to four word sentences in the evaluation. She was unable to answer 'what' and 'where' questions. She had difficulty answering logic questions such as "What would you do if you were hungry?" She was unable to volunteer any extra information such as talking about family, pets, etc. She also exhibited difficulty with quantity concepts and possessives.
The therapist also noted that Bella has a very short attention span. She was easily distracted during the testing and had problems following directions. Bella wanted to do what she wanted to during the testing session and had to be redirected back to task often. These behavioral issues may have effected the results during the testing session.
Overall, Bella's language scores are below average for her age. So, it was recommended that Bella receive speech therapy to address language skills.
The therapist had a list of goals she wanted to meet in therapy, such as working on language development, increasing attention span and learning basic rules for participating successfully in a preschool setting. Their hopes are to put her in a PICS program next fall, a 1/2 day preschool that would continue to work on Bella's language goals.
I am excited for Bella to start this therapy...she has a hard time expressing herself sometimes, which causes frustration for her and for me. It's hard to hear the word "disorder or disability" when talking about your child...I remember the first paper she handed me had a label of "...for Parents of Children with Disabilities...." and I almost started to cry! One of the many things you don't want you child to feel in their life is stupid or held back in any way.
I feel as if I could have prevented this in many ways...I feel that her pediatrician could have played a bigger part...rather than obsessing so much on her "obesity" as he called it and making comments such as "she could stand to miss a few meals", maybe he could have pointed me in a direction a YEAR ago to correct her speech problem. I have turned alot of the blame inward, and I was very thankful for a comment my mother-in-law made a few weeks back. I was telling her about the speech evaluation and I expressed how much I wish I had worked with Bella more...but then she says to me "How are you supposed to know what to do or where to begin? Just because you are a mother, it doesn't mean you have the cure or the answers to everything that goes wrong with your child." I guess that never occured to me before, I just figured that b/c she is mine I should know what to do.
So, I am very thankful for a new pediatrician on her 3rd Birthday, who noticed a problem and put me on the right direction. She even remembered Bella at Aubree's 15 month appointment, enough to ask "Have you had any success finding help for her speech?" And yes we have, and we are on the right track now...a year too late, but at least we are there.


Missy said...

My sister's 3-year-old is in Bella's almost exact same situation. He's in preschool now (half days) and has improved LIGHT YEARS beyond what any of us thought he could do. He is learning so quickly and it's even helped with his distractions. Moms really don't know everything and it's knowing that that can helps us help our kids as best we can, because there is always help when we need it! Keep us all posted!

Stephanie said...

Our two oldest have been in speech therepy for a lateral lisp. I tried getting Ross placed when he was 4. The therepist didn't have a concern at the time - I did. He was able to start in October of his Kindergarten year. Just this January, 3 years later, he met all of his goals and completed his therepy. He sounds "normal" now with his sh, ch, j, & s sounds.
I was a little more forceful when Elizabeth was 3 1/2, so that's when she began. She continues to go twice a week at school because she's not quite there.

I am a BIG fan of speech therepy. It has really helped my kids.
I love that they have had fun going, too. The therepy is more like a play session. When I went to school, we knew who was pulled out for special classes. The other kids at school seem jealous when the kids go in groups to speech. They see all the fun they get to have.

It can be a long road, but one that will definitely be worth it in the end. One day I was sitting in a waiting room at a mechanic's shop. Another customer commented, in a kind way, about their lisps. She told me she, too, had a lateral lisp as a child. I remember feeling a lot of hope because she had no lasting speech problems. I can say now that Ross speaks as well as other third graders and Elizabeth is on the way. I'm glad that Bella is 3 and will be getting some help. I feel like the sooner the better. Good luck!

Krista said...

My sweet Sarah, do not blame yourself. We as new parents always look to our doctors for any indication of a problem and if he didn't acknowledge anything, we automatically think they are fine. There is absolutely no reason for you to feel it was your fault. She is getting the help she needs and maybe there was a reason she needed to wait a year to start. Maybe she wouldn't have been ready back then. You never know. Just live in the now which is what you are doing. She is going to have a blast learning new things. I had a sunbeam that went to speech sessions and she was my best kid who sang all the songs. The others would just stare at me;)

Christina said...

Oh sweetie...I don't have any words to add...but I wanted to give you a big((((((((HUG))))))))) You are doing your best! Keep doing that! Bella is LOVED by you. Keep on loving her and letting her know that you are there for her!

Ashley said...

I totally know how you feel, like it's your fault. Hayden is struggling as well, but in a different way. My mothers instinct has long told me something was off, but not until now has it been confirmed by his teacher. We are now waiting on him to be tested as well. Sending good thoughts and hugs ya'lls way. You're a good mommy!

Cayden's Mommie said...

aww sarah!! that made me cry! you should never beat yourself up!! You have done your best and you're a wonderful mother!! so don't doubt that! i love you!!

Kelli said...

Sarah, you are such an awesome, caring, attentive Mommy, and this is absolutely not your fault. Bella is so creative and funny, and just such a free spirit, and has more important things to worry about in her little head than four-word sentences! Like Disney princesses and fairies! I bet in no time, she'll be blowing your mind with the difference.

JennGlamGirl said...

You are doing a great job and and being an attentive mother, she will do great and get through this with help and love!

Home is in La Verkin UT. New with nice upgrades, mountain's surrounding us and we really love it!

Shannon said...

You know, we all LOVE Miss Bella, she is so sweet and lovey, and in a few years you wont ever notice that she took a little longer to talk! It is just like walking, they all learn to do it eventually. You are a wonerful mother and person (SuperMom in my opinion) and your girls reflect that in all they are! We love you!

Bittles said...

Sarah, that's awesome that you were able to get the testing done and switch pediatricians! When it gets tough with kid issues, I have had dear friends remind me that Heavenly Father sent these children to you because you can do for them what no one else could! Keep up the good work!