Saturday, December 8, 2007

Quan's speech eval.--this might not be interesting unless you have a child in speech or about to be! :)

Well, the day my friend Amanda got her referral, in fact when she tried to call me on my cell phone to tell me about it, Quan was getting an evaluation done at our local elementary school for possible speech services. We are going to try the elem. school first, before we go for private speech. One reason, it's free. Another reason, it's a one and a half mile little hop from my front door!

In our phone conversations with the speech therapist at the school, I found out that none of the speech teachers have had any experience with cleft palate children. However, I was extremely impressed with her willingness to research and learn whatever she could to help Quan. SO, we are TRYING this.

The eval. took two hours. There were three speech pathologists in the room. They will be conferring with one another to have a good solid backbone of support for the first cleft palate child at the school! The first half of the test was checking Quan's expressive and receptive lang. development. She took out a flip-chart that had different kinds of pictures on lots of different pages. The test began simple enough..."Quan, show me the ball" on a page that might have a picture of a ball, apple, bed, and chair. Then it got a little harder..."Quan, put the block in the cup and give the cup to me" (she had put a little tea set and blocks in front of him for this) Then it got even harder..."Quan, if you were hungry, what would you do?" with a page that had pictures of someone sleeping, eating, and swinging. Um, can I say...he passed the language part of his evaluation? WOW! Now, he did score low, but it was not low enough for the state to allow them to provide expressive or receptive language services! Some of the ones he got wrong really cracked me up, like everytime she would point to a horse and ask him what is that, he would go "Moooooooo!" Okay, note to self: work on animal sounds more! Others he got wrong were associated with knowing color words. For instance she might say "Quan, show me the blue ball" with a page of different colored balls on it. He could not name ANY of his colors. Okay, that was a little frustrating because we have worked on colors more than anything else! But, it will surely come! Also positional words such as behind, above, below, etc. confused him. And words like him/her. She would ask "show me his shoes" with a page of a boy and girl both wearing shoes. He pointed to her shoes. Well, that's kind of hard anyway for a 3 year old, much less one from China! All three therapists were completely amazed at his language development, and I must say, so was I! Good thing I have nothing genetically in him so my head doesn't swell with pride, because it surely ain't me that made him so smart! :)

The second part of the test was articulation. As you probably guessed, he failed this big time! So, he does place low enough for speech services, and they said they would definitely work on expressive and receptive language things as well as articulation. The articulation test was not much different from the other test, he just had to say out loud the names of pictures, and do a LOT of repeating what the therapist said. She wrote down what he said, but had a hard time knowing how to spell much of it, because his speech is so nasal and "glottal"--what is that anyway? It's just really hard to figure out what he's saying, I can't imagine spelling it! He repeated EVERY word she told him to. And sometimes he had to repeat the world three or four times. I know he was so worn out. You could see it in his little eyes, he was ready to be finished! He even started tearing up at the end, so I told him we would go to Dollar General and get some candy when we were through (thanks for that idea, Buffi!) The therapist then pulled out the dum dums, and he perked up after that! What a champ he is, truly! I mean, I was worn slap out from all of it, and I wasn't even the one having to answer all the questions!

Oh, little sidebar: Kimmie sat in on the evaluation, and we had a hard time getting her to stop answering the questions for Quan! Little buggar! When the therapist flipped the page on the chart, and there-bright, yellow, scrumptious looking-sat a banana right in the middle of the page, I knew I was done for. "NANNNNNAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!" she screamed. Because bananas to Kimmie are like Diet Coke to Mommy.

So, we will go back in a couple of weeks for the IEP meeting, and then we will get on the schedule. I am totally open to Quan taking speech at this school, but also private speech at the same time. I think he needs a LOT of work, so both options may be the solution. That might mean speech 4 times a week, but we'll do it. Right now we are just getting the preliminary work done at the elem. school, and I know the Lord will lead me to a private speech therapist if that's what is best for little Quannie!


mommy24treasures said...

oh bless his heart, that is great he did everything asked of him without a meltdown, most children that cannot communicate well would have had major meltdowns with a test that strenuous. He is an amazing little guy.

Pandamonium Mom said...

Yep - I totally agree that most children in that situation would have melted down. Mine did!! Thanks for posting and sharing. It was interesting to me. Great news about his language...that's a big deal! The articulation WILL come! Hannah still has errors and sometimes can be difficult to understand still..but much better. We still have language issues though..and stuttering! I've asked everyone is this is common with CL / CP and no one has seen any connection, so maybe it's just her..
I'm so proud of Quan - and still haven't met him! (Which we need to change that fact soon!). It sounds like he was such a trooper. Hey, and "glottal" probably means he is using "glottal stops". It basically means he is stopping the airflow by doing this closing off the throat thing instead of using toungue / teeth / lips. It's very common with cleft palate - Hannah did it too at first. It's kind of a weird sound that isn't a regular "speech" sound in english.
But, it is sometimes found in Chinese speech.
Glad it all went well..and I'm hoping the school speech works out. We love our school therapist this year!

MamaHen said...

Laine, I have enjoyed keeping up with your blog. All your kiddos are too cute! Both of my boys are in private speech right now and it has been wonderful. If you ever get to that point I have a great guy for you. Wendy Clark

Mike and Barb said...

Oh, Laine, I can soo relate... Speech issues have certainly afftected one of my little men since birth, and I think it is such a difficult thing to see them struggle with. BUT, with that said, he has come a LONG way, from making absolutely un-spellable words (try to write down your baby's first words *argh*) and sounds only to singing "I wiss you a mewwy Chwistmas..." truly from the bottom of his heart. There are still several sounds he can't make, and he has a lisp and sometimes stutters (not very often anymore). And you know what - he has come through all of this with his head held high, and with a determination and patience that is absolutely mind-boggling.I believe that the Lord really equips those little ones with their special challenges with the courage to come through it okay. Testing and IED meeetings are an emotional thing, I was always a total mess afterwards, but it will get better. One thing I highly recommend is that Rob will go to some of them, just to get a feel for them and to see t he process. I was always the one doing all of it, and when Mike went to some more in-depth testing at the Children's hospital, he was a MESS, just because he was sooo not familiar with the process.
Allright, this got WAY too long!
Have a wonderful sunday!
Love, Barb

The Young's said...

Wow Laine! So glad to know that Quan did well on his language. Bless his heart...I can imagine getting frustrated in the middle of it. Did he get him a good toy at the store? It's amazing how little things like that help push them over stressful times!! It is so great that you're going to be able to get the speech at the school. Thanks for the update. I look forward to hearing how well he progresses. the way...that's so funny about Kimmie too!! She just makes me laugh!!! Hope yall have a great week!
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Quannie is really a trooper. He is so much a Ferrill. That sweet, sweet smile and a determination to not let ANYTHING stand in his way.

I so enjoyed the chance to sit with all of you at dinner this evening and church and spend some one on one time with Kimmie and Quan. It was such a Blessing to me. I just love all of you, even if Rob doesn't like to share his cookies, cooties or not. Love all of you. Have a safe trip to Savannah next week. See y'all soon. Ethel

Sonya said...

Poor Quan! Ben went through a short test as a three year old and I know I should take Katie Lin!!!
Maybe after Christmas!


The Blaszczynski Family said...

I didn't realize he was going for an eval at SES. One of the SLP's there, Vickie, went to grad school with me. I am so excited about his language development that's so great. After that eval you can see why I decided not to be an SLP, I don't have the patience for it, pretty sad huh. Love you guys!

Lisa said...

SOunds like a tiring day for the little guy. He sounds like he was a trooper though. I know you will do what you feel the Lord is telling you to do to help him.

Lisa said...

Oh, I read DeEtte's post where she wants to meet the little ones too. Maybe we can work something out and we can all get together. I have this bag of clothes just waiting for you.

Trace Car Driver said...

i still love reading all the updates. i'm so proud of little man for being so brave! and kimmie too! and for that matter, you and rob! way to go supermom!!!

Stefanie said...

Wow! What a day for sweet Quan. Sounds like he was such a trooper! The part about him tearing up at the end really got to me, he sure was trying his BEST :)
Glad to hear he qualifies and will be getting an IEP soon. Sounds like he's either on target or ahead for everything but articulation! Isabelle goes to the SN preschool mainly due to her delayed speech. The program here in our county is AMAZING! I hope you guys get Quan in a really good program, plus if it's FREE? how can you beat that?!?