Friday, September 28, 2007

Update on Chris' evaluations

Well, Chris' child study team evaluations are finally done - one more step to go (the child study team observing Chris in his nursery school setting this coming Wednesday) before the IEP is finally formed and we begin to review it.

Finally, some progress!

Chris has the child study team evaluation done of Tuesday. In sum, they requested that he have a occupational and P/T done (which happened yesterday) because 1) we had some concerns about some things he does (like how he walks up stairs) and 2) they were afraid that with their findings alone, he might not qualify for services.

Not what we were expecting after weeks of delays and frustrations.

We were told that he is very advanced IQ wise (he was identifying several words on a page and saying what they were; counting above 22; identifying all shapes, colors, etc.). The psychologist said she needed to add the numbers up because he was just getting things correct left and right (and answering quickly). But, he was showing deficits in language that we have been seeing at home (not in vocabulary, but in receptive-expressive language, although there is major improvement from the neurologist and speech evals in August). Of course, he did minimal hand-flapping for them (figures!) - but, was covering his ears at several points. The ear covering is very new (in the past 2-3 weeks) - and we are not sure if that is a noise sensitivity or a "I don't want to listen" sensitivity. They gave us flash cards to use with Chris that shows how actions work (like putting a hot dog on a stick, heating the hot dog over a fire, then eating it) to help him, since that seems to be the primary speech deficit area.

The occupational and P/T eval done yesterday also showed very borderline for needing services - basically, he cannot cut with scissors, string beads, button buttons, open a Tylenol-like bottle...but, I never thought a three year old should be doing that stuff anyway! I don't recall learning how to use scissors until I was in kindergarten. And, quite frankly, I am not sure I want him knowing how to open bottles like that yet! It was really up to us on whether an occupational and P/T recommendation got in to the report - and, I told them to add it. He is a total of 6 months behind for his age - which is something he could easily catch up on with just increasing our home time of them. But, I would rather see things addressed now, instead of using a "wait and see" attitude. I was given recommendations to help - mainly, bring him to as many parks as possible to play and to use some simple which I copied for the grandmas'.

Oh, and we did find out how much Chris LOVES trampolines!

We're in trouble with that one!

He does need some help - but, it does not appear to be that least, that is what the child study team is letting on.

We took him to a new speech therapist on Tuesday - she is much closer and also specializes in autism-spectrum disorders (she works at a specialized school that ranges from K-12). She knows what he needs (how to categorize actions and how to help him play with others in a more "natural" fashion - right now, he seems to have "rehearsed" ways of communicating). He really liked her - and so do I! She actually answered on question we could not find an answer on: What do we do with Chris' hand flapping? She suggested that not to stop it completely, but try to get him to modify it to something more socially appropriate (which he is doing already - flapping with his hands at his sides, more out of view) - and, once he gets that idea of adaption, then we can begin to get rid of it completely through speech. Since he has already made one modification naturally on his own, he is getting the idea - and using his speech more.

So, this should be a good fit for him.

Now, the child study team wants to observe him in his nursery school setting to see how he responds in class and with the other kids, especially because his teacher there has noted a marked improvement over last spring. So, that will take place this Wednesday.

After that, we hope to have the recommendations and an idea of placement and IEP.

I am just hoping that part of the process goes a little smoother than the first. If not, we have a friend who is an attorney who specializes in education - who knows the background of all of the delays and is willing to help us out.


Di said...

sounds like a LOT of great progress tina- in many areas. I am happy for you guys and glad to see that Chris is doing so well. I think you are on the right track.
I dont know what to do about Conner and his speech because he has gotten so much better, but there are some sounds/consenants that he cant say but he has gotten so much better- and I have no idea what letter combinations and stuff a 3 yr old should be able to say!!
But yay for you guys, I am glad things are finally falling into place.

Di said...

oh ya, I am so sorry I forgot your sept 19 angel day :( SO SO SOrry. Hope you are doing ok with all the TTC stuff and questions... but I like what your psychics had to say :)

Jessica said...

Hi Tina, miss you. Sorry I've been MIA. Anyway I had no doubt Chris would do well and I'm sure with some help things will be going great. Let's hope it's smooth with all the plans going further.
Um and I don't know why he needs to know how to open a tylenol bottle. I wouldn't want that either!!!