16 January 2010

Evaluation Part One: Deacon

I've been meaning to sit down and write this post for some time now. It may wind up being a bit lengthy, so bear with me.

Way back in October (see? I told you I've been meaning to write it for awhile) I was trying to get the boys' physical paperwork signed off on by the clinic so I could enroll them in CYS (Child Youth Services - sort of like a babysitting center on post, only they do much more than that). So I get an appointment for Deacon after quite the hassle, I bring him in and instead of the appointment being a physical, it was put in the system as a "well baby" appointment. Sigh. So after filling out all the paperwork and such associated with well baby appointments, and getting him weighed, measured, and the like, the doctor came in and started in on the well baby questions. I stopped her and said, "All I want is for you to sign his physical paperwork. He was just here 3 months ago for his well baby." She looked surprised, said, "Oh. Well, the didn't even need to make an appointment for that, they could have just looked up his stuff from the summer and signed it. (AHHH!!) But since we're all here, let's have a look at him anyway."

Let me stop here to say that the paperwork associated with well baby appointments/check-ups are a packet of "can your child do this" type questions and you check "yes", "sometimes", or "no". My problem with this is that there were a bunch of things on those papers that I had no idea whether or not Deacon could do because they aren't things we do around our house. Sorry, but we don't spend out days threading beads with shoelaces or dressing baby dolls. So, for a number of the activities I had to check "no" because I've never seen him do it. It's not to say that he can't, he probably can, but on the off chance he can't, I had to check "no", just in case. I really think they should have a 4th box "haven't tried/no experience" or something like that.

So, because I had checked "no" to so many of the motor skills activities the doctor said she was worried about his motor skills and wanted to have him evaluated by a physical therapist to help him get on track. I told her I wasn't worried about his motor skills, and that if anything, he was probably a little behind on his speech/verbal skills. Of course, I'm not worried about him being a little delayed in his speech, because I know that his main role model is Zeke and Zeke still isn't anywhere near where he should be speech-wise, and that once it clicks for Zeke, Deacon will take off with him.

Anyhoo, the doctor put in the referral anyway and I forgot all about it. A few weeks after his appointment, I got some papers in the mail saying the referral had been accepted and sent to an agency out here and I could contact them whenever I wanted. About an hour after I checked the mail and got the paperwork, a therapist from said agency called me to set up a time for her to come out and evaluate Deacon/get started on some of the paperwork for his therapy. I figured if she was willing to come to our house, and it's not something that would hurt him, why not?

The following week or so, she came, she saw, she agreed with me that his motor skills were perfectly fine, and that maybe he did have a slight speech delay, then asked if I would mind if she came back with the occupational therapist for further evaluations, just to see where he is with everything. Again, I figured it couldn't hurt, so why not? (I told you this might be lengthy.)

About two weeks later the 2 therapists came over and evaluated Deacon a bit more in depth. Funny side note, the occupational therapist is our pastor's wife who knows Deacon already because she volunteers in the nursery occasionally. They scored him up and his motor skills (gross and fine) are well beyond where they should be. His speech is even right around where it should be. However, his listening skills were a bit "immature" let's say. That means that under the old system he would have been classified as just fine and wouldn't have qualified for any services. But there's a new system in place where they can offer partial services for children who need just a little help, and that's where Deacon fit.

So, they paired us up with one of their therapists (we lucked out and got our pastor's wife), and she comes every Thursday or so for an hour in the morning and just hangs out with Deacon. She brings specific toys for him to work with, and he has a great time with her. The hardest part is keeping Zeke occupied so he won't try to play with all the toys too before Deacon gets a chance to explore them for himself. And that's that. I've been working on slowing down my own speech when I talk to Deacon, which seems to help, and trying to ask more questions about things going on in the books we read. He just needs to slow down and listen a little better. Kind of hard for a 2 1/2 year old, I know, but he's getting there.

And then there's Zeke, which will be a post for another day since this one is already way too long as it is. To those of you who made it all the way to the end here, thanks for reading.


Linda said...

All the boy cousins are getting services! Sing it: We are faaaaamily!

Glad you got your pastor's wife. And I'm glad DeeDee is having fun! More people to play with our kids can't be a bad thing, right?

Julie said...

It sounds like you have some great help for him! So nice that you know the OT already :)

Daniel has been getting help since he was 3 and I am so glad they have the services for us.

Embrace the Circus said...

I think it's great that you've gotten services for Deacon AND that it's your pastor's wife that's helping out. How fun! We've been thinking about getting Madeline's speech evaluated (some people -- read: my mom and sister -- are concerned though we're not, really)and we have basically the same theory you offered: if it's not going to hurt, why not?