Differences of Opinion

The Monster had another speech evaluation yesterday.

I find it interesting, as we go from therapist to therapist, at the differences in opinions as to his level of function.  (For a basic level of evaluation – they require a ‘greater than 25% deficiency’ in function here for services.)  He is currently just shy of 55 months, which means that he needs to be speaking at less than a 41 month level to be getting speech services in the schools.

According to yesterday’s evaluation, he’s at a 21 month level in terms of expressive language.

Personally, I don’t know that I buy it – he was, by the wife’s admission, not at his best or most cooperative during the evaluation.  Previous evaluations have pegged him at 2 years and some-odd months in how he uses his expressive language.  He’s hardly non-verbal by any standard measurement, but he’s certainly better than where this therapist yesterday set the bar.  It’s a little frustrating to have some ‘stranger’ basically tell us that he’s massively behind, further than we had thought he was, and to start giving suggestions for how to foster better use of his expressive language.

Now, most of the suggestions are still entirely valid.  We do tend to prompt him with question forms quite a bit, and there’s the issue of trying to get him, on his own, to come up with new forms of expression rather than sticking to the very rigid forms he’s already using.  We also try to prompt too much (apparently) when he gets stuck on his ‘do you want more?’ bit.  So the wife was given a few tactics to apply to see if we can’t get him to develop on his own, and I’m willing to go along with it to see if it works.

This just goes along, though, with the need to know what precisely is going on at school – we don’t hear very much at all from the therapists that work with our son during the school day, a point of frustration that’s not been addressed.  I know that, in theory, the specialists have to fill out a report each time they meet with him… so I think it’s time we see those reports.

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