J was evaluated today for acceptance into the First Steps Early Intervention program. Daddy came home from work to be here to observe and they all pulled up to the house together. It was the case worker along with 4 therapists
and they were so good with J. The physical therapist got on the floor with J and took out a ball. He immediately showed them that he could kick a ball, throw a ball, run in circle, hop with both feet, and walk on his toes :) He put together a shapes puzzle, stacked some blocks, and drew a nice circle. The speech therapist was asking me what words we've heard him say and between Daddy and I we were able to come up with a list of 10 words, which put him at 18 months development. He said 3 of the 10 words during the eval, "Yay!" when he put the puzzle together, "Bibe" (five) when he ran over to give Daddy and I a high five, and "Byebye" when everyone left. The therapist took out a group of objects (rubber duck, car, baby doll, elmo, ball, and a cup) and asked him to name the objects by pointing at the object and asking what it was. He couldn't name them but he could pick a certain object out of the group when asked. So he knows what the objects are but he can't say the words. She showed him a flash card with objects on it and he just got really quiet. I have flashcards for him also, and he does the same thing to me. The therapists asked me how does he communicate with us at home and I told them that he can sign eat (which he only does in the morning when he wants breakfast) and he will grab his blankie when he's ready for bed, but other than that we follow his cues. When he's thristy, you will usually find him in the kitchen hanging off the fridge, or knocking on it. When he wants to read, he will go to his closet and get a book and bring it to us. When he wants to play he brings us a toy. When he wants to watch television he grabs the remote. This is how he communicates and when we ask him to say words he either gets really quiet or has a tantrum. So this also explained to us why he is such an angel at home but then completely melts down in public. His is always very irritable and clingy. That's b/c in public, he doesn't have things that he can use to communicate with us, so it's very frustrating to him. He is at an age where he understands so much and needs to be able to use words to communicate, but he cannot do that effectively. However, he had to test at a level of 17.25 months in order to be accepted into the program. He tested at 18 months, mainly b/c of the list of 10 words we provided and the fact that he understands and knows words, but cannot say them. This didn't surprise me at all. But they did say that from observing him, they do think that he could use the help of a speech therapist to get him talking, so they accepted him into the program. He will remain in the program for a year and will be seen by the speech therapist once a week for 45 minutes each time. She will work on language skills and possibly some oral motor skills to see if that will help him to hopefully eat better. And if that doesn't help he may get into the picky eaters program. I'm also going to mention the eating to his pedi at the 2 yr appt to see if he thinks J needs to go back on his reflux meds for a while.
So this eval certainly calmed my fears and I'm proud to say that my baby is on target for all areas except speech and cognitive development, but he's not too far behind in either and just needs a boost. I can't wait for him to start using his words and for his frustrations to be decreased. Yeah I know you are all probably saying, She'll very soon wish that he had never started talking b/c she won't be able to shut him up, but let me tell you...I cannot wait to have a little conversation with my boy and to hear him tell me "I love you".