Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Speech pathologist and first ever parent-teacher interview for Little R

Finally, March 24th was here. A speech language pathologist was going to see Little R at his nursery school today to assess his communication development. DH and I had been looking forward to this ever since the day this appointment was booked.

DH and I walked to the nursery school today. We left Little S in the care of Sister D at home. Was Little R ever surprised to see us both there waiting for him. The little guy didn't know what to do. He kept looking at us in bewilderment. We ushered him to go back into the classroom.

There, we met the Durham Preschool Outreach program co-ordinator and the speeh-language pathologist. They greeted us cheerfully and professionally before we sat down in the boardroom to discuss Little R's assessment. Little ran around and played in the classroom, and would run in periodically to check in on us.

The pathologist said that she observed Little for about 15 minutes before interacting with him and playing with him. She observed that he loved playing trains, but he didn't play with other children. She noticed that he made many vowel noises. We remarked that we also hearing him making mainly those sounds at home. His teacher, who was also in the meeting, also said that he did that in school. The pathologist went on to describe Little R's communication skills to be delayed in all areas including pre-language. This meant that he had poor eye contact and did not use gestures. She (the pathologist, Michelle) tried some formal testing with him where she would show him a picture of something and he would have to name it. But he was not able to do that.

Michelle tried prompting him to say words by using things of interest to little children like bubbles and a gear that he could turn. She said that in a half hour she was able to help him say ten words. The technique sounded very similar to the one that we're using right now where we should him the object that he wants, withold it from him until he says the word. She will have a full report for us in about a month's time. In summary, we are to use very simple verbal language with him. Little R is capable of using single words. Once he has at least 50 words (attached to the correct meanings) he will probably be reading to string together two words. Michelle reccommended that I speak uniquely "Chinese" while DH speak to him in English only. She said that consistency was vital to success. I believe this.

The parent-teacher interview was informative. Angela spoke about Little R's development. She said that he was developing skills in most areas; however, his pre-writing skills were already developed. She said that during snack time Little R would stuff his mouth full of food, so they will be keeping close eye on him so that he doesn't choke. It's a sensory issue, I think. We'll get it sort it out somehow. Angela also remarked that Little R always never wetted his pull-up diaper. We decided that the staff should put him on the toilet when they see that he's dry. (Little R has been very good with holding it in for the toilet -- but I'd better now jinx it by talking too much about it -- my grandmother would blame me!).

We left there with much comfort to know that the staff at the YMCA were so caring about our child. It's a very worthwhile place to invest in because everyone is included.

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