Thursday, December 14, 2006

Speech Therapy

After Thor's most recent eval, it is determined that his diagnoses of PDD-NOS stands for now, but the only thing anyone can find amiss is that he doesn't talk. Hearing is fine, he IS capable of speech, he just chooses not to. Any other delays he might have, and any personality quirks, might be tied to the lack of speech. The drs all agree that his brain processes info differently, but without him being able to communicate in a way that people other than me can understand, it is complicated to figure out. There is a rather large battery of tests that he was put through, and most of the info garnered from said tests agreed with each other, but the doctors disagreed with the tests. The issue with testing a toddler is you never know how much of what they do, or don't do, is because of their age, lack of sleep, being hungry, putting on the wrong pair of pants in the morning, and interesting cloud out the window, or because they are honestly working within their abilities. Add to that a child who doens't say 'No!' "I don't want to" or "I can't" and you see where the issues come in. At this point, ON PAPER, Thor looks to be about 6 months behind where he should be, not too bad as an adult, but when you are only two, it's quite detrimental. In person, on the other hand, it is obvious that the kid has so many lights on upstairs it a wonder that he doesn't blow a circuit. He is smart, but has very few ways to communicate this, for whatever reason.
The solution? We are starting to teach him to sign basic words and ideas. This will do a few things. Give us another way to communicate to him, give him a way to communicate with us, that we can understand reliably, and, they think that it might actually help him to talk. We are also going to have to be strict about things he already uses words for. Once we have heard the word definitively eg 'Spaghetti', we are to make him use the word. If we have the long pasta for dinner, we will give him a little bit to start, then if he wants more, he will have to say 'spaghetti" or at least 'spagh'. This is to be done with all words he knows. It is going to kill me, I know that before he decided that it's just easier to talk, he will amp up the power of the puppy-dog-eyes, the whining, the tantrums, and the snubbing. I am to ignore these things as much as possible, because even acknowledging the tantrum will encourage him. Lastly, we are in the process of setting up intensive speech therapy. It is being provided through the county, and the therapist will come to us until he is three, at which time he will be going to preschool if therapy is still needed. We will also have access to a teacher if we find that after he starts talking, he is behind the curve.
Life is gonna be interesting.

1 comment:

mcewen said...

PDD is the most frustrating of labels, but 'signing' is a great way to start the ball rolling, especially if nothing else is lurking. Wishing you every success. Best wishes