Friday, March 6, 2009

Matthew's Early Intervention Appointment

Yesterday the ladies from the local EI came to spend some time with Matthew (19 1/2 months) and evaluate his for his qualification in the programs. I had called last month after telling our pediatrician I was concerned with his speech. He had had a few words at 12 months but "lost" all of them after he started walking and hasn't really gained any of the words back. He currently only says mama, daddy, Austin and Riley (his versions anyway). The words he does use are very random and more of him just being told to say it, so he's repeating the sounds. He never initiates those words and it seems as though he doesn't recognize that the word Mama means me, or that daddy is daddy. If that makes any sense. Now his understanding of words that I say to him is excellent. He can follow directions. He knows what we're saying and responds appropriately to our words.

So the three girls came over yesterday and spent time playing with him and talking to him and just getting a grasp at where he's at. They noticed that when he does make sounds, he barely moves his mouth. Most of his sounds are just him flicking his tongue around. One sound he makes all the time is "tickatickaticka". If you say that, you'll notice that your lips aren't really moving. The evaluated him on all kinds of skills. His gross and fine motor skills are right on cue with his age. His cognitive skills and social skills are also right on target. As is his receptive language skills. His problems? Adaptive skills like dressing/undressing, using a fork, etc. But more than that is his expressive language skills.

This was pretty much exactly what I expected. However what I wasn't quite prepared for was for them telling me at what level he was on with his receptive language. My 19 1/2 month old has the expressive verbal skills of an 8-10 month old baby! That's a bit devastating! I am thankful that I pushed the issue and sought out help so that he wasn't 3 when he finally starts getting help.

So our plan is to get with a speech therapist in the next week or so and he'll start speech therapy every other week. At 6 months we'll reevaluate and see where he is and what course we should travel on. We're also going to start sign language with him to see if that will help him communicate with us.

That's our plan. It scares me a bit (ok it scares me a lot) but I'm thankful that we're catching it early and doing something about it. I don't know what his "official" problem is, perhaps its just the weak facial muscles. I'm sure we'll get more of a diagnosis once he's seen by the actual speech therapist. I'm hoping that in a few months you'll read a couple posts by me telling you all about my little chatterbug and how I can't get him to shut up! Let's hope so!!


McKay Family said...

I can't wait to hear about the updates on this! Good for you for being so proactive!

CloverGirl said...

Good job, mama! I know it seems scary, but the earlier they start, the better the results. I wish my son could have qualified sooner. He had a hard time fixing his issues because he didn't start until 3½yo!!

And I have to say. I smile every time I see that chunky monkey's picture!! He's just adorable.

Le@nne said...

Mum knows best when something's not right with their kiddies :) Good on you for chasing it up.
I look forward to reading about his progress over the next few months!!

My son is seven and a bright articulate little boy...but he doesn't move his tongue when he talks. It stays in the bottom of his mouth, he's not tongue tied or anything..just doesn't get it..
He is open to activities, and repetitive stuff so I'm hoping one day it will just click.

Wishing you all the best for Matthew xx

Jackietex said...

Matthew is lucky to have you as his mother!