Tuesday, November 18, 2014

When Normal Does Not Come Easy

In the fall of 2011, when my oldest son was starting the first grade, we made the decision to home school.  I felt that I could challenge him more at home and he quickly skipped a grade level.  I expected my other children to advance at similar rates when they were challenged and provided a one on one education.

In February of 2014 at my youngest sons two year old check up, his doctor recommended that he be evaluated by Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), for a speech delay.  We met with ECI in March and at that time he had a three month speech delay, which did not translate to a 33% delay (the qualifying percentage).  In September a dear friend brought to my attention that at this point she felt the delay was quite substantial, so I took him back to the pediatrician who diagnosed him with language delay disorder and recommended that he be re-evaluated.   He is able to qualify with ECI until the day before his third birthday, which at that point, he can try the public school program.  When ECI came back out in November he showed a six month delay (meaning he has only made a 2 month improvement from when they saw him 8 months ago).  This six month delay translates in to being 18% behind.  Again, not qualifying for the program, as the only area he is behind in is verbal.  Most areas he is ahead.

Have you been here?  A place where options seem limited and you are angry that you can not get your child the help they need.  When I checked speech therapy the places I called did not accept my insurance.  The non insurance price seems to be a $200 evaluation and then $100 a session.  So the first month would be $500 and $400 for subsequent months.  By now you have seen my budget and that kind of money is just not there.

What can I do?  Or what can you do if I am describing your situation?  The first thing is to take a deep breath.  Your going to get through this.  Second, don't give up.  Its not hopeless.  About a month ago I stumbled on to Teach Me To Talk.  I highly recommend this page and resources.  I started by reading her free information and then I purchased some items.  I recommend THIS video (bubbles) to start with.  Once I received a positive response from my child, I purchased materials.  I shared with the ECI speech therapist that I was spending one hour a day with him following the steps from Teach Me To Talk and that we were working on exclamations (Oh boy! Oh no! etc.)  She had heard of Teach Me To Talk and encouraged me to continue working with him.

Although I would like to do more, I feel validated that this is a good program that other speech therapist have heard of.  In my opinion, it is much better than doing nothing.  I will continue to do one hour sessions with him until his birthday and then have him evaluated by the public school.  At that time we will re-access the situation and see where to go next.

Did you have a delayed talker?  What did you do?

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