Friday, March 03, 2006

The Evaluation (3/3/06)

Ryann had her speech and developmental evaluation this afternoon. She was so darn cute about the whole thing. The therapists sat with her on the family room floor and spent a half an hour just playing with her and testing her. She was loving, loving, loving it! 30 minutes of absolute solid play and attention with no other child distracting her play partners! I was watching for a little bit and actually got a little teary and upset because she wanted to do more bubbles, but the speech therapist wouldn't let her do it unless she said More. She was sitting there so excited about the bubbles and signing More over and over and over, but she wasn't getting more and was getting a bit frustrated. I just found it hard to see my baby trying so hard to communicate with someone and not getting through and then being frustrated about it.

And something some of you may appreciate... at one point the developmental therapist wanted to see if she was using her pinscer grip so she asked for a few cheerios to test her. I got her a plate with about 20 of them. Ryann got so excited about it she just shoveled them into her mouth - but she used her pinscer grip, so thats all that mattered! I kept telling the ladies that this child loves her food:)

Anyway, she is doing wonderfully developmentally. She is right on target and doing everything exactly as she should. At one point the developmental therapist turned to the speech therapist and said, "Why am I here?" I also heard them call her a smarty pants once or twice. This is no surprise to me. She is smart. She has been able to follow multi-step commands - difficult commands - since at least 13 months. She is good at problem solving, at recognizing and pointing out pictures, she knows a lot of body parts, she can imitate, she does well with pretend play, etc. So developmentally she is just fine and does NOT need developmental therapy - again, this is no surprise to us.

In terms of expressive communication (speech), she is at a 12-15 month level (she is 22 months old). She says approximately 5-8 words and not on her own - only with prompting and then only occasionally (how in the world do you spell that word?). She will be receiving speech therapy once a week for a few months. The therapist says that she is the perfect child for this therapy because she is curious and very interested in learning and playing, she feels that Ryann will pick up on the therapy very quickly and that it won't be a problem for her at all. They will find a therapist within the next week and we will begin in-home therapy shortly after that. They will also give us some ideas on how we can work with her at home ourselves. She also recommended that we have her hearing tested - she didn't think that she had a hearing problem, but said it is pretty much just a given that they also test hearing.

So that is where we are at with Ryann's speech issues. I have not been worried about this - I always figured it was more of a stubborness issue (which the speech therapist confirmed was definitely part of the problem) and not a developmental issue. Dave's mom has told me that she (dave's mom) didn't talk until after she was 2. I also have not been worried due to the fact that Ryann can understand everything we say and does follow our directions and has not seemed to be developmentally delayed. And I think that if she did not get the therapy she would be just fine. However, I think that since it is available, it is free and it is extremely convenient (they come to our home), there really is no reason to not provide this for her. In addition, the sooner I can get the grunting and whining out of my life the better.

Finally, the developmental therapist made a comment that I found incredibly interesting. She noticed that Ryann was walking on her toes and asked me if she did that often. I told her that I didn't notice it often, but that yes, she does walk on her toes - as does Nora, my sister and my mom. She said that there is a definite correlation between toe walking and speech delay. She has no idea why - nor does anyone else - but the correlation does exist. Very interesting.


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