Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Smarty Piper Pants

Now that Piper is 2 1/2 and still in the Infants/Toddlers program for speech therapy, we have to begin the process of having her reassessed because when they turn 3 years old in this program, it has to be determined if they are still eligible for services.   At age 3, if still eligible, she would continue speech therapy but it would either continue to be in the home or it would be at our local elementary school with the SLP there.  And, if does continue to qualify, it would be my decision where we would continue the sessions.  (I really hope she does continue to qualify for speech services because I believe she still needs help - if she doesn't it would be a very borderline thing and I'd be worried about her not having any more speech therapy before starting pre-school in 2012.)

Anyhow, her SLP has been starting the assessment with her at their regular sessions but in addition to the speech assessment, they have to reassess for all other kinds of possible learning issues.  So yesterday a special education teacher from the Infants/Toddlers program came to do her assessment of Piper.  When Piper was initially assessed last year, she was developmentally 'normal' on everything except expressive speech and there haven't been anything that has come up to make me think otherwise.

Since it was a last minute planned meeting because our service coordinator was able to get a special education teacher into see us, it ended up being when my mom had Piper.  Apparently the teacher, Ms. Patty, is a retired special ed teacher and my mom said she was very nice.  Piper kept talking about "Patty" the rest of the day, so I guess she liked her.  She did a bunch of fun little tests with her and Piper breezed through them.  In fact, my mom said there were a few she wasn't so sure of how Piper would do and she did great!  On many levels she was testing at 36 months!  One thing the teacher did notice was that she's not really counting which most kids at 2 1/2 are doing, but we're attributing that to her speech delay.  I count with her often and she's got 1 and 2 down but has a hard time saying the other numbers.  (It's the same reason I know she's just starting to sing recognizable songs - speech.)  As Patty finished up, she assured my mom that her son had the exact same issues as a toddler - expressive speech - and he worked through it and he's now in medical school. 

I think it's just a matter of time with us continuing to work with Piper before her speech is cleared up.  We understand her most of the time but we've also got trained ears to her words.  Sometimes though, she'll say something and you can't understand her and it completely breaks my heart.  She'll say something with such conviction like you should know what she's saying but you don't have any context to figure it out and you stand there and look at her cute little face and just want to cry because you can't figure out what she's saying.  She's doing so much better with trying to talk now and getting a lot more words correct.  She's even saying her name fairly consistently now and we don't hear Per-pie as often.  Her pronunciation of Bryce is improving but she's still having a hard time with Caroline and she reverts to "Ga-Ga" most of the time.  The other day though, I jokingly asked her what my name was and without hesitating said, "Eh-ka!"  I couldn't believe it - she really does pick up on things I hadn't expected. 


Lisa :) said...

Chris had the same issues when he was younger. He also in the Infants/Toddlers Program and he attended our local elementary school to continue with the speech teacher. He actually would still see her once he started school and saw her up to third grade. When he was younger like Piper he would speak and we sometimes were unclear of what he was saying and most of the time his siblings could translate for us. It was pretty funny that they knew is language. Chris always tended to speak very fast and we had to tell him to "speak slow like a turtle". That actually did help us understand him more.

Heather said...

My two cents...opt to continue the speech at home, if you have the choice. School therapy is done in a group (not one-on-one) and often kids don't get ALL the focus/services they should.

Viv said...

Not all school speech therapy is in a group - my neighbors son who just turned 5 and isn't in school yet atteneds our local ES for theraphy once a week for a private session through Infants and Toddlers. It's easier on the specialist to stay in one spot and let the kids come to see her rather than her driving all over the place.
So it seems to vary from, but I agree that one on one is best for now - poor Piper gets enough group activity at home ;)

Erika said...

Correct, Viv. Prior to starting school, any visits with an SLP are one on one (if we went that route). My neighbor's daughter has been seeing the SLP at our ES and LOVES her. So it will depend on a bunch of things what we decide, but knowing it's a good SLP at the school is helpful. Once they are in pre-k/kindergarten, it depends on the child. Some kids have one on one, others have group.