Monday, January 5, 2009

Speaking Out

In keeping with the Cruel Month of December theme, we are preparing for a battery of tests to determine more substantially the extent of our dear daughter's problems.

Early last month we visited the state's Early Intervention Program. The Girl seemed to be developing certain abilities more slowly than anticipated, a problem I'd noticed last summer. Our pediatrician had said early in the fall that she was a little behind but not to worry yet. As the autumn progressed my wife began to notice the problems. At that point we agreed to an evaluation with the EI program.

We met with a coordinator and then a pediatric nurse practitioner, a special ed teacher and a speech pathologist. They played and interacted with the Girl for an hour or so. I fully expected them to laugh and kick us out - "Beat it. We have kids that have real problems." But at the end of the eval, without even having a discussion amongst themselves they announced that she was "significantly delayed in both speech and fine motor skills" and they were accepting her into the program. They said she is quite bright and her receptive language skills - what she understands - are advanced for her age, but her expressive skills - talking - were those of a 12 month old.

She will go through some hearing and visual tests to be certain there isn't a problem there, but the feeling was those aren't the issues. She may just be late acquiring certain skills - they may come on in a rush and problem solved, but that seems doubtful. Though no real diagnosis was offered - she's too young and it will take more evalutions to nail down a cause - verbal apraxia with a limb-kinetic component was considered a contender.

I have been in contact with my fellow blogger, Bluestem. Her daughter, Nea, was diagnosed with apraxia at about the same age as the Girl is now. Bluestem has been there and her insights and wisdom have been greatly welcomed round the homestead. Strangely, I first heard of apraxia when my old high school and college sweetie, T, told me her son had been diagnosed with it a couple of years ago. I had no idea the empathy and concern I felt for her and her son, and later for Bluestem and Nea, would land so close to home.

This week we will meet with the first of many speech therapists, doctors, physical therapists, special ed teachers, et al. The Girl will get a visit once a week for at least the next year with a speech therapist here in our home. She will, no doubt, be doing the same with a physical therapist and whomever else is deemed necessary to help her along. All this courtesy of the State of California.

Who knows, maybe it is nothing, but right now we're just a little off our game.

1 comment:

Blaize said...

I read another blog where one of the kids has apraxia. It's a lot of work, but it seems to be working. Best of luck to you. And, of course, to the Girl, who I imagine will work hard to be able to say exactly what she thinks.

You're a good dad. Thanks for sharing this.