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Evaluation | Heather Drive

Nora had her early intervention evaluation for her speech last Friday.

It went really well. We weren’t sure exactly what to expect in terms of cooperation on Nora’s part, but she was great. A little shy when they first arrived, but she warmed up quickly. We scheduled the appointment for early in the day–9 a.m.–so that she would be well-rested and at her “best.”

Two women came to evaluate her. One was an early childhood specialist who was there to evaluate her development–social, physical, cognitive. The other was a speech pathologist who was there specifically to evaluate her speech.

All they really did was play. And ask us a lot of questions. They brought a lot of props and toys of their own, to test specific things–covering an object with a blanket to see if she would look under the blanket, hiding things under cups and moving them around for the same purpose. Practiced “feeding” a bear with a plastic spoon, practiced laying the bear down and covering him with a blanket, etc. All things that they directed her to do that she cooperated with. They gave her a hand mirror to see how she would respond to her reflection, and she performed–smirking at herself and moving her head to take peeks at different angles. HILARIOUS.

They also looked at books–random ones that they pulled off of her shelf–and asked her about objects in them. Nora pointed accordingly. At one point they were going through a Sesame Street book and the woman was asking Nora about the characters. She turned the page and Nora’s finger went out immediately, pointing, and her little voice said, “Boon!” Both women looked at us. “Balloon?” one said. Yep. Pointing right at the yellow balloon on the page, she had said it with conviction. Balloons are one of her favorite things on the planet.

That’s the funny thing. As I mentioned in my previous post–ever since I made that call to early intervention, Nora seems to have made a lot of improvements. Picked up a few new words, even since I last posted–Balloon. More. MAMA. That’s right, she says Mama now. Every day, multiple times a day. It is awesome.

So, an hour or so passed, and they were done with the evaluation. They had put Nora through all of the “tests,” and had asked us all of their questions. The full report with all of the results won’t be ready for us for a few weeks, but they told us her scores right away–and told us outright that Nora does NOT qualify for services.

Exactly as I suspected.

According to her scores, Nora does have delays. Not only in speech, but in the social and cognitive skills, too. BUT her scores were borderline normal, just a bit below. They said that the reason for her lowered scores in the social and cognitive areas were all for things related to speech, so… well, it all makes sense. That was why we were in this position in the first place.

At the end of the day, Nora’s delay is considered “mild,” and children need to have a severe delay to qualify for services. And Nora doesn’t, which is honestly a relief. They expect that she will catch up on her own, reassuring us that the range of what is “normal” at this stage of development is extremely broad. Some kids are talking in complete sentences. Some have only a few words. It’s just the way that it is.

Given the small sample of children in my family that we’ve since “surveyed,” it sounds like not really talking until after 2 years old is not as uncommon as I might’ve once believed. Two of our nephews were late talkers. So were a few of my cousins’ kids. All are bright, healthy children who eventually caught on–by themselves. No therapy needed.

So, it is what it is. We continue to do what we’ve been doing. Narrate our day, work with her. Encourage her speech. We do a lot of object identification exercises. Singing. Reading.

In six months, if Nora still seems to be below the curve, we’ll have her re-evaluated. But I’m not worried.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel. And there are a lot of words there. :)

 

8 Responses to Evaluation

  1. Bethany says:

    Yay! So happy to hear!!

  2. Congrats to Nora! That’s fabulous news! On an unrelated note…where did you get the cute colorful table and chairs set in her playroom? I would love to purchase one for my little one. :)

  3. Great news! It’s good that you went for peace of mind and to reiterate what your gut was telling you.

  4. I’m happy to hear that it went well. And tears came to my eyes when you said that she is saying mama now. I figured when that happened you’d be making a whole post about it! Lol. It’s very sweet.

    I never get over how great your pictures turn out. Everything you snap comes out great! I LOVE the one of her holding the balloon. It’s so precious.

  5. Kristi says:

    Such great news!! Thank you for sharing so much detail about her evaluation. I, too, have been a little concerned about my daughter’s speech, so it was really helpful read this. Nora is so adorable!

  6. Heather says:

    I meant to comment or email you weeks ago, but just wanted to say thanks for posting things like this! My daughter Grace is about the same age as Nora, literally has just about that exact vocabulary you listed and it continues to expand…just slowlyyy compared to some of the crazy full sentence speaking 22 month olds I seem to see all over blogs. It’s nice to see another sweet little girl in the same boat! :)

  7. Elise says:

    I realize at this point this post is kind of a month old, but I just wanted to say that my sister was a bit slow to develop as well and she also had LOTS of ear infections when she was very young. There is a small chance these two things are related and maybe tubes will help Nora with some of the speech stuff. There’s also a chance they’re completely unrelated and it’s just a coincidence, I just thought I’d throw the concept out there.

  8. [...] about how, last year at this time, we were getting ready to call Early Intervention to have her evaluated for a speech delay. She had so few words, and now, I can’t believe some of the things that she says. She may [...]

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