Yesterday was Buddy's evaluation at a speech therapy center. One that is known and respected so I trusted instantly what the outcome would be. We were expecting him to either walk in, fall on the ground and not say a word. Or....talk. Non-stop. He talked. NON-Stop. As an added bonus the evaluator was able to evaluate him. Something no one else has EVER been able to do because he'll usually stop talking. His understanding of language is that of an almost 5 year old (it's always been ahead). His expressionary language was almost a typical 3-1/2 year old. There were some bumps along the way and she did not reach the ceiling like she normally would push in an evaluation as she could see clearly see his frustration level and didn't want to push him to the breaking point and then lose him completely. Then we moved onto him identifying items so she could check for letter sounds, enunciation, etc. He did well. So well in fact that all of the things he failed on this particular test a year ago were gone. She was thrilled because honestly he's only been talking for 18 months. She understood about 70% of what he said, and while that number should be 80% she really felt with the continued support at home those things will work themselves out.
And so I'm back to being his full-time therapy person. Correcting 'bl' where just a 'b' should be or 'br' should be. Slowing him down a bit. I've seen changes in him in the last few weeks though. For instance when he gets frustrated instead of melting down into a puddle of tears he took a deep breath calmed his voice and then stated to me what he wanted. HUGE. For him that's HUGE.
Where does it leave us though? Well now we've got to organize a play group for him. One where he can build friendships/relationships with kids his age. Preferably kiddos with out speech problems as he'll easily fall into those. It means making sure we're getting to the Rec Center once to twice a week to get him in an unfamiliar environment and functioning. I need to get a card in his bag for church that whoever is with him can state how much he talked, and what percentage of it they understood and if there were significant errors that they noticed. And finally it means starting to look for a preschool for him for fall. Some place structured that isn't going to let him 'run' the show.
I do have to say she was extremely impressed with how much of an advocate we had been for him. How much research we had done, where we had been and how far we had pushed. She said some parents come in and she wants to say to them "Where have you been and what have you been doing?" So we continue to work...continue to push for answers.