Age: 21 months, 1 week

The big news this week is her developmental evaluation. I took her in yesterday for a sensory and motor delay evaluation. I’ll provide links for the tests I know the names of, for any readers who know about (or want to read about) Such Things. For motor skills, they used the Peabody Developmental Motor Scale 2nd ed., which was interesting to watch but didn’t give me any idea how she was doing. For the sensory evaluation, I simply filled out a pretty short form about how she reacted to various things (I didn’t catch the name). Some of them were difficult for me, questions about whether she reacts more strongly than most children. Of course, she’s my only child and I frankly don’t have a lot of experience with children except for her, so I have no idea. I haven’t heard back about either of those evaluations. I guess they have to add up her scores to figure out what they think. The therapist who was doing the testing said that she guessed J’s score would come back borderline. She could probably benefit from some occupational therapy, but doesn’t need it.

Partway through the occupational evaluation, they asked if it would be okay to have a speech therapist take a look too, since it seemed to the therapist that she might benefit from getting her speech evaluated. Sure, why not. It would be nice to have her thoroughly evaluated. So the speech therapist came in, and started testing her using the REEL-3 booklet on receptive and expressive language. She did fine, no issues there. 84th percentile for receptive language (what she can understand) and 70th for expressive (what she can convey). No real surprises.

Then the therapist pulled out the Goldman-Fristoe Articulation book (here’s a video of this test). It’s basically a book of pictures and you evaluate how well the child articulates each word. It’s designed for children 2 years and older, so J at three months shy of 2, she wasn’t evaluated at a standardized level. However, she definitely did not articulate. In actually trying to get her to say a series of words, it became plainly obvious that she refuses to attempt any word with 3+ syllables, and most words with 2 syllables. Of the words she does say, most middle and all ending consonants are just elided entirely. If she were 2 years old, J would be well below the 50th percentile. That’s really more of an interesting note, since the test isn’t designed for children under 2, and 3 months is a really, really long time for a toddler, especially in terms of language development.

Given how able she is to understand and especially to communicate despite her articulation skills, I’m not really concerned. I think she’ll respond super rapidly to speech therapy. She’s generally very compliant and enjoys doing things for others. The therapist checked to make sure there was no physiological cause (hellooooo tongue tie) underlying her speech issues, and there isn’t. So it’s really just a matter of teaching her how to use her tongue. I’m really excited for her to start therapy, since everyone involved seems to agree that it should really help her with her tantrums/frustration level and with the aggression she’s showing other children (biting or shoving because she can’t tell them to stop doing something). We should be able to start next week.

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