Tuesday, January 27, 2009

To Speak, or not to Speak?

It's a weird feeling to hope that your child is dumb enough to qualify.

Dumb, meaning, of course, unable to speak. (what did you think?!)

Sweet Conor. He just doesn't really feel like talking all that coherently. He has about 50 words, I guess, many only intelligible to those of us who live with him, and he can put a few two word sentences together. ("Hi, Dash!" he says to the neighbor's dog every time we pass him. Or "Hi, Sis!", or "Hi, Mom!") He puts other word combinations together, but includes signs when he can't say the word. ("Daddy sleeping." or "Sissy working.")

Today the Evaluator was due to come to spend some time with him to see if he is delayed enough to qualify for free speech therapy. He is almost 30 months, but would have to be the developmental equivalent of a 19 month old to qualify.

I had class this morning, and so, couldn't be present for the evaluation. I went off to school hoping that my son didn't impress this woman, which is weird. Usually, you know how it is, you want everyone to take notice of how brilliant your children are.

Well, I got the full report when I got home.

He took full advantage of his captive audience to act like a completely undisciplined clown, throwing off the couch pillows, stomping on the puzzle boxes, displaying other lovely feats of parental incompetency. But, when Adam tried to discipline him, he was told to "just let him play." So, Conor got to play maniac for this woman, doing freely all the things he isn't allowed to do. Pretty much we got blamed for his lack of speech ("he's definitely behind"), and the woman only stayed for about 15 minutes. Barely even talked with Conor, but poor Adam felt thrashed.

In the end, she'll submit his name, but you know how backlogged the system is. It could take months for any therapy to start for him. By that time he could need another evaluation. Frustrating. Now, I hope for his name to stand out in the pile and that he can get some therapy soon!

In the meantime, we'll just keep reading books and engaging him the best we know how.


Annette Lyon said...

Gotta love the "system." Good luck.

Don said...

I went through the same thing with our youngest, and remember thinking how weird it was that I wanted her to do poorly on the evaluation.

Good luck. It's amazing what a little speech therapy can do.

Luisa Perkins said...

How frustrating! The meeting, I mean. Keep me posted.

Sarah said...

That's frustrating for sure! Hopefully you didn't have to pay her too much for her 15 minutes.

Misty said...

oh Jenna...
we interviewed counselors for Gen, a few years ago, and went through this... she manipulated the crap out of the situation. At the end of it I found myself a little "annoyed" with the professionals who couldn't see through it...

Are there any system funded programs you can pursue?

Scribbit said...

I tried getting David in when he was that age and he didn't qualify--it was pretty frustrating for him with such a delayed speech and lisp but eventually he got a good speech therapist in school and it cleared up.