Monday, August 29, 2011
I've mentioned before here that we've been a bit worried about Raf's speech and language development. He's still not putting 2 words together and, while he seems to understand a great deal he can be a little selective in his understanding. A couple of months ago I called CDS and they suggested we come in for an evaluation. So last week we took the trek to Norway for his appointment.
Honestly, I have been very nervous about the entire thing and as we drove an unknowing Raf to his appointment I was sort of regretting it. Although we have no concerns about Raf's cognitive abilities, motor skills, or emotional and social skills the assessment looks at all these dimensions in addition to the speech and language. So when we got there we were introduced to 4 people, each assessing a different aspect.
The actual assessment was completely fine! Basically Raf played in a little room with all of us in there and the assessors interacted with him in varying degrees. The speech pathologist was fantastic with Raf and soon Raf had really warmed up to him. Raf was incredibly sweet, and although they couldn't get him to do everything (things he can do quite easily but he had no interest in doing then and there), they saw enough to draw some conclusions.
First, in the social and emotional department he did very well. He was shy going in (he had also just woken up) but he was very friendly, and toward the end he was having a fine old time playing silly hats with two of the CDS people. One of the other assessors commented on his sense of humour, and all of them said how sweet he was. I was very proud of Raf.
He also did great in motor skills. The woman did comment that he lies down to play a lot, but the speech pathologist noted that it seemed as though Raf was just enjoying being on the same plane as the toys he was playing with (especially the cars and trucks). She also couldn't get him to do a few things - which she said would bring down his score once they wrote their report - but really nothing at all to be worried about.
The speech pathologist was really helpful. He didn't think that Raf required any services and that he was probably just low/average in the language department. He had some very useful suggestions and helped us understand why he might be a little lagging in this area. During the assessment he had noted that Raf kept on returning to one particular truck which he was filling with bricks and Raf had also had a bit of a meltdown when the guy was trying to get Raf to look at something when Raf was really wanting to play with a particular toy.... this led him to suggest that we work on increasing Raf's flexibility. I'm not sure if this is a big issue but we'll certainly try to mix things up a bit.
Finally, the cognitions woman also felt that Raf was fine. Again, in the scored report he'll score lower than we would expect simply because he didn't do everything she wanted him to do. That, and some of the tasks were language based...
So it was all good. It was a relief that Raf is in the realms of normal for language and speech and good to hear that he was doing very well in all other areas. I did almost cry when they did their summing up as I was very proud of little Raf, and he seemed so vulnerable as everyone was watching him, especially since he had no idea what was going on.