Last Friday we had Alex evaluated by the county’s “Birth to Three” program. The main reason was because he still is not speaking much and our pediatrician wanted us to get him tested while we still have time. The program is free, but only runs to age three and he didn’t want us to wait and then not be able to take advantage of it. He said “Worse that will happen is they come out, do the evaluation, and tell you to just give him a little more time.”
So two nice ladies from the center came out last Friday morning. Took about an hour, but they tested more than just his talking. They evaluated his physical and cognitive abilities as well. One lady talked to me to get some background info on Alex while the other one “played” with Alex. Alex took to her right away and was practically pulling the toy box out of her hands 2 minutes after they got here. They did a little bit of everything – hiding things under clothes, matching shapes & colors, puzzles.
Alex is really good at puzzles. There was one that isn’t your traditional put the piece in the right slot type of puzzle that you see for most toddlers. It was a three piece puzzle where the pieces fit together inside an outline. She said most kids can’t do that puzzle and only get the head into it and get confused with the body and the legs. (It was a bear). Alex did it over and over and over. He loved that thing and must have put it together and taken it apart two dozen times.
Some of the stuff she asked me about like the ability to jump (I don’t think so and he was too busy with the toys to pay attention to her trying to coax him into trying), zipping zippers (another no – didn’t really want him doing this one yet anyway), telling us when he’s wet or poopy (definitely not), and feeding himself with a spoon (yes! – and a fork). She scored him on each item and then they do some calculations to determine at what age their abilities are at. If the child is more than 25% under his current age, they are considered to be far enough behind to warrant them stepping in with some help. 25% off his current age of 25 months is 18.75 months.
|Here’s how Alex rated:|
|Cognitive (thinking and problem solving):||26 months|
|Social/Emotional (getting along with peers an adults in different settings):||25.5 months|
|Adaptive/Self-help (taking care of own needs):||24 months|
|Gross motor (movement of big muscles):||24 months|
|Fine motor (using small muscles such as fingers):||30 months|
|Receptive/Expressive language (listening and speaking):||18 months|
So Alex is very much ahead in the area of fine motor skills, but behind on his language skills. Personally, I’ve become a little less worried about him not talking in recent weeks since he really does seem to understand what we’re saying and he is obviously a very bright child (and I’m not the only one to say that, so it’s not a mother’s prejudice). And while we’re not getting repeatable words, we are starting to get some more definite letter sounds out of him. And he does babble constantly. The lady working with him said that “It’s conversational sounding, even though it’s not understandable”. And he did say “car” and “ball” multiple times when confronted with pictures of those items. He won’t say anything for us, but he’ll talk for them. And Barb has been saying for several months now that he says many words, but every time she tries to get him to say them for me, the child falls mute. I told her he’s just trying to drive his parents crazy by not talking when we want him to. She got to thinking and realized that he only talks around her when he wants to, not when she tells him to.
But if they’re willing to help me encourage Alex to talk, then I’ll take the help. The center will be setting up a meeting in the next week or so to set up goals for us to achieve in the next six months which will determine if they send just a speech therapist or an all-around therapist and how often they will come to the house to work with him.