March 23, 2010

Speech Evaluation


The day I have been agonizing over and anticipating has finally come and gone. Hunter had yet another speech evaluation, this time with the public school's speech pathologist. I had the phone consultation with her, made the appointment, and waited. I have been sort of playing out how things would go in my mind. All of it was way off. But Hunter had been excited to go and we've talked about it every day for weeks now.

This morning, knowing the day was here, he got really emotional over it all. He said that he wasn't going ever and he left the room every time I came in. He was defiant. He growled at me instead of speaking when I asked him to talk to me about it. I offered bribes of a dollar store day (a favorite activity of his) or McDonald's ice cream and play time when it was over. He yelled at me no matter what I said.

Grandma arrived from CA today, a coincidence, and was here to go with us. She always comes with bags of gifts for the kids, and Hunter was so defiant in his attitude about the day that he even refused to come open a gift for a while. It was heart breaking. I couldn't even feel mad about his behavior because I knew exactly where it was coming from.

I am always a little hesitant around professionals who say that they can only do their work without you in the room. I mean, I get it, but I still retain the right to be present when its my kid regardless of how disruptive you feel my presence is. If I don't know anything about you other than that you have a degree, I may choose not to leave you alone with my kid. After all, even the people who get C's and party their way through college get a degree in the end. So I told Hunter that if at any time he wanted me, all he had to do was tell the woman and she would come get me. As soon as she arrived in the room, I told her politely of the agreement that I had with Hunter and asked her if she could uphold it. She didn't really agree, but she just kind of moved on. So I peeked in a few times to gauge his comfort level. Thankfully, he seemed really happy from where I stood.

I anticipated sitting down with her and discussing her findings before leaving, but we didn't. Hunter came out with her, all puffed up and proud of himself, which was so wonderful to see. He was waving a sheet filled with dinosaur stickers. She said, "Your assessment of his situation was on the money." and then said that we'd have a meeting with the principal to discuss her observations. I worked in special ed for a while and I get all of the red tape and legal butt covering that they have to do. It's one of the reasons I love home schooling. I hated having to have a committee meeting and pass a parental panel if I wanted to swap science and math on the schedule (I'm not even kidding). I just want to know if he's in or not. But I have to wait until the principal can sit in on it before she will tell me. She did tell Hunter she'd be seeing him some more, so I assume he got in, but she wouldn't tell me anything directly.

I am so grateful for any help we can get in this department, but I am also a little skeptical about how much progress can be made in a group speech therapy session with a bunch of other kids who are modeling poor speech habits. But I will be the first to admit that I know NOTHING about what will and will not help him speak more clearly. This could work in mysterious ways. And I am not above letting him do the part time school thing if it seems to be working.

So I guess we'll be giving it some time and looking for progress. If we see it, we'll stick with it. Heck! If it just brings him some joy and confidence, we'll probably stick with it. I just want him to find success. I don't want people to be asking his baby brother what he just said. And I don't want Haven to pick up on poor speech habits from Hunter.

So, I think we're in but I can't say for sure. Hunter is really excited to go back and really proud of whatever work it is that he did in there today! For today, that's all that really matters. So, it was a good day.

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