Friday, October 21, 2011
You say potato, I say...
Recently, we had Baby E tested to see if he qualified for early intervention for developmental delays. You see, he still isn't talking at all, really, and our pediatrician recommended testing earlier rather than later so that intervention could begin sooner, if necessary. The representative from the state run program called me and Baby E "passed" the initial Kafka-esque qualifying questions:
Does your child use more than 8 words besides Dada and Mama? He uses no words besides uh-uh and uh-huh, including Dada and Mama.
Does your child create two word phrases such as Mama go? Umm, he doesn't speak, as I just said, so no.
Does your child use three word sentences such as want more milk? Again, no...is this a trick question?
Does your child point to objects and say their names? Really, are we on candid camera? Did you not understand my answer to the first question? Do you yourself hear sentences using more than three words??
Does your child come to you when you call his name? Finally, yes.
There were other questions to which I was able to answer yes, but I answered no to enough of them to earn us a more thorough assessment. Yay??
That assessment took place over about 2 hours in a tiny, dinghy, sad little room at the local hospital. Baby E was asked to do all sorts of tasks, most of which he completed just fine, some of which were absolutely absurd things that I am pretty sure J still couldn't do, let alone Baby E. I must have had an incredulous look on my face at times because the interviewer said at several points "This is a four year old skill so don't go home and practice this with him." In response, I wondered A, why then were we using this skill to measure Baby E and B, did they really think I was going to go home and "practice" any of this craziness? Mostly, Baby E played with a toy bus they had in the room, putting all of his toys from home in the bus, as well as any new "toys" she gave him, patently refusing to play the majority of the games she tried with him. I kept wondering if this woman had ever had children, so out of touch did she seem with what I would consider normal toddler reactions to the activities presented. By the end, I was pretty sure that if he did qualify for intervention, the therapist assigned to us had better be a lot more on the ball or we were going to forgo services altogether, thank you very much.
In the end, it turns out we did not qualify. In the six areas tested, Baby E scored above 90% in five. In the sixth, communication skills, he was somewhere in the low 60s, but his score was not low enough to require intervention at this time.
So, apparently, Baby E gets a D- in being a typically communicating 20 month old, but we're going to let him squeak by this time and move on with the rest of his class. Again, yay...?
(Since we requested testing and started this whole ball of nothing rolling, Baby E has learned to say uh-oh, up, apple, cheese, shoes, and mine. He has also learned to sign--in addition to more and all done--drink, juice, milk, and water. He also made up his own sign for binky when he stuck his finger in his mouth and started sucking on it when I coaxed "Say bink!" Personally, I think Baby E is just waiting us out, waiting to see how long he can go without saying anything and still get what he wants. That and possibly he already talks to J in sentences when I'm not listening and they're in cahoots.)