Friday, April 15, 2016


I am well aware that I haven't blogged in eons. Anna reminded me I'm supposed to blog 15 times this month and I've blogged TWICE. My computer is killin' me, Smalls! It is making it very, VERY hard for me to upload any pictures. I have deleted a bajillion things and it still insists that my hard drive is almost full. *Sigh* I'm trying! New York Part 2 is coming, as is Spring Break!

A few months ago I told you that Will had been referred by our preschool to have his speech evaluated. We did that and for six weeks we worked on our own at home perfecting his St- and Sp- sounds. While those improved immensely in the six weeks {and without much intervention by me, really!} he was not a huge fan of working on those with me. I found an iPhone app called Articulation Station that we used in our car {thank you, Beth, for the suggestion!} while we waited to pick up James. It gave us the blends that we were supposed to work on, but it got bonus points because it kept up with the time we spent working and how many he said correctly! It wasn't free, but I thought it was worth it. 

This post isn't going to entertain 99% of you, but I do like to have all of our information so that I can look back. I'm obviously not going to share ALL of the details with you, but I want to remember the experience.

While I was in New York, his Sunday School teacher who is also the preschool sped coordinator called to ask me how things had been going. We met after I returned and because I felt that he just wasn't getting as much as he needed from me, we had a formal evaluation made a few weeks ago. It was such an interesting experience. I was asked questions about his birth, his social development, and his physical development since birth. 

While I was answering questions to determine if he was developing appropriately for his age, he was being evaluated. The process was so interesting to watch. My favorite part was that when they tested his vocabulary, he blew them out of the water. They had a flip-chart that had four pictures per page. She would say a vocabulary word and he had to point to the picture of that word. For instance, for eruption, he should point to a picture of a volcano erupting. He kept going and going and going. Some of them were guesses, but a lot of them he knew. They stopped when he was in the 14-16 year old age range. Smart boy!

He also had to be evaluated by the school psychologist {it's just part of it}. She made him do all kinds of tricks! My favorite for this part was his answer for the question, "How are apples and bananas the same?" She was looking for: they are both fruit. Will said, "They aren't the same. One is juicy. One isn't." Cue hysterical laughter from everyone in the room. CLEARLY there isn't a problem with creativity or vocabulary. {And just for fun, "juicy" sounds like "deucey."}

SO. That was a few weeks ago before Spring Break. On Monday I got a call to schedule a meeting about whether or not he would be placed. Eddie joined us today and we met to discuss his results. It was VERY strange to be on the parent side of an IEP. I was part of an IEP team when I taught high school so I sat in on hours and hours of IEP meetings. Glad to report that my IEP meeting was a very POSITIVE thing because I've seen some very sad IEP meetings that just feel very hopeless. We met with the speech therapist, school psychologist, school representative {the pre-k principal}, and a pre-k teacher today. Will won't go to this school next year {he's staying at the school where I teach - it's private}, but he is being served by the public school system.

According to the school psychologist, he is a very average to above-average boy! He was scored based on cognition, communication, physical development, adaptive behavior development, and social/emotional development. He is on the high end of average in everything except communication. Want to know something funny? He's ABOVE average in communication. He has a lot to say and a huge vocabulary, but those sounds are holding him back! That was GREAT news to me! He's such a smart boy!

The speech therapist reported that, "He exhibits a severe articulation disorder characterized by substitutions, omissions, and phonological processes. It makes it difficult for him to communicate thoughts and ideas in a way that others can understand. His phonological delays negatively impact phonological awareness skills and pre-reading skills. He does exhibit more errors in connected speech than at the word level and speech intelligibility decreases in connected utterances." Whew! I am a little bit sad that he's classified as "severe" because I'm feeling guilty for not having gotten him in before now, but I do feel like we're on the right path! {A phonological processing disorder involves patterns of sound errors. Will substitutes all sounds made in the back of the mouth like "K" and "G" for those made in the front like "T" and "D." He says "Dames" for "James" and "Tup" for "Cup."}

The plan is that Will will start speech therapy two mornings a week - starting next week - to work on clusters, strident sounds, and K, G, and L sounds in words. There are a TON more sounds to work on, but that's what she has written down to start with. I'm so excited to see him make some improvements, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad to hear that baby voice go. It's time, though. He's going to rock speech!

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