Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Speech and Joey

Sorry, I have another rant coming on.

I had mentioned before that I had called the district preschool office and had talked to a speech pathologist on the phone, and from talking with her- she said he seemed that he was fine for his speech, but afterward I did think to myself that she did not actually talk with Joey and that he probably could use a formal assessment, so I called the lady again and she went over the stuff with me again and said, he was fine and was really really annoyed with me for still insisting on an evaluation. She kept asking me "How do YOU think his speech is" and I would answer that personally I do think he is fine where he was, HOWEVER I could just be very biased and I mentioned that my mom and mother in law etc had expressed concern over it, after I mentioned that she would not come off it, saying how it was not my mother that we should be going off of etc.....(I was just trying to show that other invested family members that have heard him and have more expereince with kids thought as much sheesh) she acted very annoyed and upset that I still thought I should do an evaluation.

Yesterday I went to take Joey in for his speech evaluation. The whole ordeal left me more confused and upset then ever. As I prepared for the meeting I kept telling myself I needed to step back, take advise, be objective, and really hear the advise given to me about my son. However, the speech pathologist (same lady as on the phone) had a very very very (notice how many verys) intimidating voice in her approach. From the START she asked Joey to point at things ect with a very very very intimidating voice (again.... I really tried to just pull myself out of it and stop trying to protect him from everything.... but it really was intimidating, from the start) Joey got really nervous so they brought him in another room with out me. Again he was really scared and nervous and laid on the floor crying a bit, not wanting to do the tasks she was demanding.

Again, all the methods and tasks she was using I do think were appropriate... but the voice and the tone she used really was very scary and demanding (not firm, demanding) I listened for a few minutes outside blinking back tears- telling myself to stop trying to protect him, he is with professionals. After a minute of that (she really literally just took a minute with each approach) she marched me and Joey down to a room and said that because of his BEHAVIOR I needed to fill out a form. As I did and was left alone in the room I kept blinking back tears... thinking how this really felt beyond me wanting to be protective of him, I really don't understand how any child (especially one that has no school related experience) would want to comply with this lady, she scared me from the beginning.

After awhile after I had filled out the form, they had me and Joey just go play with the toys while they listened in to get a speech sample from him. It took me awhile to compose myself enough to play in a way to even get Joey to talk about the toys etc. Eventually I was able to get Joey talking a lot and they were able to get the sample they could use anyway.

Afterward they went over thier findings with me. Showed me that he was actually making all the sounds and 3 or 4 word sentences consistantly. Showed me on a graph that he was in the average range for his speech (although, leaning just slightly to the "at risk" portion) but all in all he was just fine speech wise and the speech pathologist again acted like I was an idiot for thinking he had a problem.

They went on to say how his behaviour was manipulative and gave me some papers and advise on that. They also really suggested that he gets into a preschool setting (which I definitly DO agree with)

I was so fruastrated by the whole ordeal though. Again, I am not trying to coddle Joey and defend everything... but really the lady was way to darn intimidating from the beginning, scarying Joey and making him nervous from the beginning and then getting upset with him and making me feel like a bad mother because he was to nervous to talk with her. And then in the end they showed me that he was OKAY for his speech, but acknowledging that he was slightly behind but giving me no advise, no instructions or anything on how to improve his speech, no plan, no disscussion on why he might be behind, no suggestions of speech thearpy but instead telling me that he was manipulative and should have been more willing to comply (again, granted he can be manipulative but I really don't think he was in this situation).

I do think that they were able to get a good sample from Joey as we played and they said that they understood 90% of what he was saying (the General education lady didn't watch us play so she wouldn't be influenced by what she saw but what she heard) so I do feel at ease that I have been right in thinking his speech was fine.

If it wasn't for the other lady, the general education lady acting and talking in a non intimidating and regular voice and way, I would not have lasted the whole time.

When I went out to the car where Jared was waiting to pick us up I had to finally cry for a few mintues before I could tell him the findings of the evaluation.

That really was the most horrible experience so far in my parental life. I am not naive and I know that I will have plenty more uncomfortable experiences related to my children, especially my Joey. I know they have certain methods ect to assess the children, but again the speech pathologist approach and voice was super scarey and intimidating that I think a grown man would have felt it to.

A good note to myself from the meeting, when I was going over some of the findings regarding behavior (based on the questionaire form they had me fill out) with the general education lady (the nice one) I saw the hyperactive section (the symbol showed it right in the normal range not even close to the at risk section even) and I mentioned to her my concern that he could be ADD or ADHD and she said, that although she is not a Dr. equiped to make that kind of diagnosis she does do a lot of evaluations (they evaulate a lot of things there, not just speech) and she saw no indication that he would be. She noted how behind us Joey cleaned up one toy, before starting another and that his play had structure and he was not jumping from toy to toy ect. Said, some boys are just busy and that was most likely it, and that is how i really feel- I always do get nervous because I have had a couple people express to me that he is the most busy boy they have ever seen. However he has never been aimless in his business, he always has a mission or an idea he is trying to play out and I think he just has a lot of imagination and engergy.

Back to the whole preschool thing, I am getting a bit fruastrated with. I so badly badly want to put him in preschool but all of the district ones are full (they did mention one might have some openings, but it is really far away for me so I don't know how I would really swing it with one car) All other preschools are to expensive for us right now. I have thought about doing a neighborhood preschool but there are not many kids to involve in it, everyone around here have kids either quite a bit older or younger than him, and I don't think a preschool with Joey, Jeanie and thier friend Austin that I would be able to establish the structure that Joey is really needing. (He more so needs the structure from it, not terribly concerned about his knowledge- he is a smart boy and I know he will catch on to those things when he gets the opportunity). I will be putting him in preschool for this next year (his year before kindergarten) for sure though, but I probably should have considered the extra year of preschool several months ago before the district ones filled up.

I am fruatrated that the only class time he has is nursery-but I am his teacher in there. He will be going to sunbeams in a few months though- so I do hope that that helps him. I am thinking it probably wasn't so good for him that I was his nursery teacher- kids just act differently with mom around (as we all know :) ) I am trying to decide if it is still okay for me to be Jeanie's nursery leader. She actually is doing really well in there and most of the time doesn't cling to me or anything- she would rather go talk and play with the other teacher and she is very willing to act appropriatly and not trying to act up because mom is there.

Sorry for yet another rant... I am just still really upset from yesterday. Laid in bed all night wondering if I was a bad mom, wondering if I have ruined Joey for his entire school career because I have not provided enough structure for him...... feeling guilty that I had not tried to get him evaluated much sooner, wondering if I have done him a huge disservice by thinking he was fine. Kicking myself for not exploring his preschool options and also thinking that he really is a smart little kid, again I might be biased but I see his potential and abilities and think he will be brillant.


LittleFamilyJL said...

Oh Emily! I can't believe all you had to go through! For what it's worth, I am 99.9% sure that 99.9% of moms feel like they aren't doing or haven't done ENOUGH for their kids. Being a Parent is tough! All we can do is our best and allow Heavenly Father to help us where we feel weak.

And the fact that you went through so much worry and effort in behalf of Joey is evidence enough that you are an excellent mom!

Nova said...

So I am typing this on my phone, excuse any misspellings. I had a similar experience with Jackson. He did not speak until he was 3 1/2. His speech therapist was trying to tell me he had assberger's or that he was autistic. I did not agree with what they were saying. I was feeling pressured about putting him in programs that I didn't think would help him. I found an office that I really liked. It cost a bit of money but it was worth it to me to find out what was up. I went through primary children's for his tests. They told me that he needed speech therapy but they knew I could not pay 50 a week for the sessions. They told me to put him in preschool and gave me exercises to work with him for his speech. I was not impressed with head start. Jackson did so much better with a private preschool. If you find someone that holds preschool in their house, it is much cheaper. I would be happy to talk to you more about it if you want to. It is a very frustrating thing. Good luck to you!