Thursday, November 24, 2005

Signs, Signs and More Signs

We went to have Peanuts speech evaluated the other day, just to see where she is on the continuim in an objective way. We have speech coming into the house one day a week, and I think she is doing a great job, but just the same, I wanted a new perspective. Well, I got just what I asked for. The testing that they did placed her at 7 months for expressive and 10 months for receptive. She is chronologically 19 months old, so it is quite a big delay. However, I need to vent becuase the test is not fair. It does not include my childs ability to sign. Peanut signs with much accuracy, 8 words - Hi, Bye, Night night, more, all done, bathe, play, and no. Unfortunately since they are not verbal utterances, they don't count. Not only that, but she was penalized for not going in the other room to get her shoes. Well, while she is butt scooting, she is not very mobile. She doesn't walk except if she is holding your hand, she will cruise at a surface if you are there to guide her a little, basically, she is delayed in her gross motor, so she will be behind in her speech, but give me a break! I really don't like these tests, as they are all or nothing deals. There is no grey, only black and white. Very frustrating. I know Peanut is going to be delayed, and yet she is doing fabulously well for herself. I really can't complain, but I guess a part of me still hopes that she'll just suddenly up and walk on her own, or start talking up a storm.
Adding salt to the wound is a comment that I keep hearing from others about Peanut. Everyone keeps calling her "the Baby". When we see people with real babies, children much younger then Peanut, the parents tell their kids, look at the baby refering to Peanut. A family member did that the other day, I was really irritated. Their child is 11 months old, sure my daughter is 19 months, and acted like a 12-14 months old, but she is still the older child. Perhaps I would have liked it better if they would have said, say hi to your cousin. No need to add the baby or other comments.
Sorry for the ranting, I'm just in one of those moods today, perhaps spending to much time with the family is not good for me this year....


Anonymous said...

Elainah's skills in communication are comparable, rated at about 7-9 months. I find this strange because in our case, she does say lots of words. She says hi, eye, hey, yah, hot, ba ba, De Dee, I did it, get it, and a few others. She does also say some Elainah adapted words such as day-de for baby, bog for dog, ah ma for ma ma,and a few others. She still relies greatly on mainly sounds to communicate.

These standardized tests are biased because if you ask anyone, lots of children without any speech problems at all are a bit delayed. Definately not a true indicator of real ability. Sounds like she does great with signing, Elainah knows how to sign ma ma, but only does it if she is upset. She won't sign much of anything else and won't even pay attention when her teacher tries with her.

Elainah can walk, very well, but would not have gone to get her shoes on command. If the testing didn't occur at home, it is also likely envirnoment played a role in her testing. Other factors like hunger, being tired, or just bored can play a role as well.

As far as size goes my Elainah is just about 26 lbs. She is 31 inches tall and out sizes my nephew who is just a month younger. I guess we have been lucky with the size aspect. We may also be guilty of calling Elainah baby still. We did this with my four year old until Elainah was born, she is 16 months old now.

It's true she isn't a baby really anymore and reading your post has made me think about calling her this. I can certainly understand how it could be frustrating to hear. I wouldn't want anyone to minimize my child to a baby if she wasn't, I am glad you have brought this up.

In closing, you are so lucky to get speech services. Elainah doesn't qualify here. She only gets a consult every few months. I worry all the time about her communication and wonder how much it would help her if she could get speech services.

Hope that you and yours had a wonderful holiday!


Lori said...

Vent away! It's healthy and very necessary, I've found. Evan's slowest area has always been his speech. I've felt the same frustration as you do. Evan gets his point across one way or the other, so I think he "communicates" well. When Evan was Peanuts age, we found that he would progress in one area at a time. If he was doing well on gross motor, everything else would kind of stall.
Oh, yes, the holidays. All that time with family. It's a double edged sword sometimes! :) Hope your Thanksgiving was good anyway.

Julana said...

I have learned to look at tests just as tools for placement, or to get funding for services. I don't take them seriously any more. They just aren't worth the emotional turmoil. And smart, good therapists and teachers know that.

I also had people referring to Nicholas as a baby for way past the appropriate time. I just bit my tongue on that one. I had to choose my battles. But it was painful.

Belovedlife said...

I really appreciate everyones responses. I am glad to know I am not alone. Although I do understand the tests are squed from my son, I just take it a little more perosonally becasue of Peanut having DS too. Thanks for listening to my venting....

Naomi said...

I HATE HATE HATE all those tests We've got a whole range of them coming up in January as part of the assessment before Callum moves to the school district. I know that Callum is delayed but seeing it written down on a piece of paper makes it so much worse, it's just negative comment after negative comment. I know that they're there to evaluate our kids delays but I know that there's so much more to callum & Amanda than whether they can fetch their shoes on demand.

We got the "baby" comment all the time before Callum started walking. I still think about one parent who we met in the park whol told her daughter to "watch out for the baby", then she looked at Callum and corrected herself and said "watch out for the little boy", I could have hugged her :-)

Misty Mac said...

I realize you wrote this so long ago...but I just stumbled across your blog and I have to thank you for writing out your rants and raves. It is helpful for me (a pretty new mom of a gorgeous DS baby boy). It prepares me for other peoples comments (although I have already heard my fair share of silly ones). Anyways...thank you for sharing!