Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Piper's Developmental Screening - Part 1

So, I don't think I mentioned this here...but a few weeks ago I decided to schedule a developmental screening for Piper. Wondering if she was developing on track was making me nuts, so I thought the best thing to do about it was have some professionals help me determine where she is at. I went through all the protocol required to sign up with Early Intervention, as we did with Morgan, just in case Piper qualified for services. We finally went for the screening Tuesday morning.

I got up in the morning thinking, "Okay, good or bad, we're going to have all the info we need today." Well, not quite.

As usual, these things never get completed quickly and it's still more waiting for us. BUT...we did get some good information and good news, just not everything we wanted to know.

First off, as soon as we showed up and checked in...out of nowhere comes Morgan's old Speech Therapist. I can't remember if I posted about this, I think I did...but, this is the woman who just offhandedly stated, while walking out the door after an appointment, that she thought Morgan would be diagnosed with Asperger's or some other form of high-functioning autism. This was after we had been to one consultation where they said no autism. Of course, ultimately she was right, but it was brought up so nonchalantly like it was no big deal. I remember that feeling of my blood running cold and somehow knowing my life was changing forever...then she just left me there alone.

Anyway, she walks up to us in the waiting area, says hello and asks about Morgan. I went on to tell her she was doing well in school and then it dawned on me that she didn't know Morgan DID actually get a PDD diagnosis (this was after I mentioned it like she knew). The way she approached us, I though she was going to be one of Piper's screeners...but then she asked if I'd checked in and then disappeared into a back room never to be seen again. It was so strange. Then I got a little was like she showed up just to get the satisfaction that she was right about Morgan. And how the heck did she know we were there? I didn't see her talk with any other patients/clients, then she was gone.

So...back to Piper. After that therapist disappeared, the actual screening therapists came out and greeted us. We went back to a large room and they started running Piper through the usual paces, a lot of it familiar as we went through it with Morgan many times.

I was SO proud of Piper! She did better than I expected at following directions and listening to the therapists. I thought she might get shy or non-cooperative, but she got through it with only minor redirection.

In the end she was evaluated in the areas of Speech/Language, Physical Therapy (gross motor) and Occupational Therapy (fine motor/sensory). She scored slightly behind in OT, but still within the average range and the same was the case with PT. This surprised me as gross motor was an area of more concern for me. I was surprised that she didn't qualify for services. Go Piper! The Physical Therapist does want to do a follow up next week to go over some exercises we can do at home. That works for me.

As for Speech/Language she also scored within the average range and actually above it in expressive language. Wow! Here's the odd thing...they didn't fully complete the test. They had to decide to stop as our appointment time was ending. Piper wasn't getting enough questions/items wrong in a row to stop the test in the way it is structured (they have to get 5 or 6 in a row incorrect to stop the testing). Does that make sense? This only makes me nervous because Morgan always does this with this particular test. She can go on and on and complete questions/items much higher than her age because it only requires "static" answers that are easy for her (like identifying colors/shapes, pictures, etc.) To me, this means we could be concerned...or the reality might be that Piper is really just pretty smart. Of course, I hope he latter is the case.

So, they're scoring up their tests and I ask "What about the social/emotional, and adaptive skills tests"? They paused and said "Funny you should ask that..." They did not have a designated person to administer these tests at that time. I was quite annoyed because those are the areas that are crucial in knowing if Piper is doing okay. Morgan was/is obviously delayed in these areas.

So, when we have our follow-up with the PT next week, she will administer the social/emotional and adaptive skills screenings. More waiting. They did say from what they saw yesterday, their gut says Piper is doing just fine. That was nice to hear. It was especially nice to hear from the Speech Therapist that she thought Piper's language was developing typically and her usage of her language is as is should be. In comparison, Morgan was/is drastically different.

So, all in all it was good, but I'm still a little nervous about next week.

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