Friday, March 18, 2011

Severe/profound language expressive and receptive disorder

This was the bottom line evaluation of the speech pathologist at Unit 5 for Samantha. But let me clarify a little. Samantha is doing okay in school, is functional in all areas as long as she has visual props (i.e. doing math w/ numerals in front of her). In all the other Unit 5 testing that was given by two other professionals, she fell w/in the average range overall, but had very low scores for tasks that required listening w/o visuals. She also had problems with memory, but not enough to affect her overall performance. She would have been deemed ineligible for services based on that, but the speech pathology results moved her into being significantly at risk. Interestingly, the other tests were based on grade level, and the speech test was based on age.

This could have been caught earlier when she was at Easter Seals for sensory processing therapy. She was tested at four years of age by a green employee and passed, much to my shock. I knew Samantha couldn't understand or communicate well, but the testing didn't render her eligible for help. So I was left to try my best to fill in the gaps I knew were there.

The meeting was on Wednesday, and then yesterday I got her report card. They don't do grade reporting yet, just Excellent, Satisfactory, etc. She's starting to drop, so although she could have been getting help before, I'm thankful that at this crucial time before third grade things are in motion for her to get extra help at school. Along with the pull-outs for reading and phonics, they'll be adding speech. She'll also get a small amount of help from Unit 5, but most of it will come from Trinity's speech teacher along w/ an IEP for the classroom.

All that said, we still need to go deeper and have her tested for auditory processing. If we find she has a disorder for that, we will likely seek help outside the school so she can function better in all of life. However, being the smart cookie that she is, when she can't think of a word, she works really hard to explain herself w/ other language. She also asks what things mean when she's confused. So I'm pleased that she's making efforts to compensate on her own; this is huge and shows that she has amazing potential. She just has to get beyond being shy with others. At home, she compensates, but for the most part doesn't do that in other settings.

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