Noah was diagnosed with a speech delay & Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) shortly after his 2nd birthday. He was about 6 months behind in his speech. He has low oral sensory processing which is part of his speech troubles. He can’t feel his mouth very well making it hard for him to form words correctly. The SPD also causes him to constantly seek out sensory input through running, jumping, crashing into things & people. It makes it extremely hard for him to sit still for any length of time. (Sound familiar… they say it’s genetic.) The evaluators also noticed some Autistic tendencies although he didn’t actually score as being autistic.
We tried in-home therapy which didn’t work out. We transferred to Casa Colina’s Early Start program in October & into the START class in December. He’s adjusting and we’re seeing some improvement in speech already. It’s a very structured class & he is struggling with that. Very typical of kids like him. He gets occupational therapy (OT) and speech in class. He loves the OT which is basically gym time (ball pit!!). There are 3 other boys in his class and they get along well.
We received his initial evaluation yesterday. It’s a 9 page report of where Noah is at right now developmentally. It lists short-term and long-term goals & suggests treatment approaches. They come up with these scores by observing him for a few weeks in class & also through testing that was done 2 weeks ago. I was in the room when they tested him because he wouldn’t let me leave. It was interesting to watch. He’s so smart but his stubbornness gets in his way. He did ok for the first half hour but then he just decided he was done being tested and refused to do anything else. I’m not sure how much that impacted his scores, but it’s all part of the problem, I guess. (The report specifically says that his refusal to cooperate impacted his gross motor score.)
Present Developmental Levels at 32 months-
Gross Motor: 29 months (he tested at 36 months in May)
Fine Motor: 29 months (improved)
Cognitive: 27 months (improved)
Language Receptive: 20 months (same)
Language Expressive: 21 months (same)
Socialization: 22 months
They recommended an additional hour a week each of speech and OT. Very happy about that.
But yeah. That’s a little painful to see those scores. Some areas have improved. He’s barely behind in his fine motor, which was one of his lower scores before. His gross motor skills are not a concern & they didn’t list any goals there. He’s the size of a 4 year old (no joke… he’s 41 inches tall & 44 lbs at 2 1/2!) The kid can hit a baseball pitched to him farther than I can. He can run faster than me. He’s a gross motor freak.
And yet he can’t put more than 3 words together. At least words we understand. He can’t say his name yet. He talks non-stop but we just can’t understand him. It’s heart breaking. He gets so frustrated. How can you connect with people if you can’t communicate? How do you not throw fits when you can’t get your point across?
I hate that to a stranger he looks like just another brat. I hate that it’s hard to see past his troubles. I hate that he’s been given these labels. I know it will get better. I just wish it was a faster process. I want everyone to know my smart, stubborn, funny, lovable, crazy little man for who he really is. My Noah.