We had our meeting with the developmental therapist this morning. She was very nice, and Moose enjoyed playing with her. I, for one, was impressed with her ease in getting down on the floor (and back up again!) with as pregnant as she was!
He cooperated with her more than I was anticipating, but not as much as he ought to have given his age. She said that from what she saw today (and I’m sure the speech therapist will be looking at this more on Friday) his speech was at about a 15 month old level. It was kind of sobering to realize that he’s speaking at the level Ladybug is almost at, but not really surprising.
Although she was quick to remind me that she is not a diagnostician, she did say that in her opinion, he really is not showing autistic traits, which was a big relief to me. She felt that he was too social and playful, among other things, to really be showing signs of that disorder. She did mention, however, that he is showing a lot of symptoms of something called Sensory Integration Dysfunction (I hope I got that right). She was particularly concerned that, at his age, he often doesn’t pay attention when someone is directly addressing him. It is normal for a two and a half year old to listen and disobey, whereas Moose tends to not listen at all. A hearing test will be one of the first orders of business, but she said that if there is no known hearing problem, it is unusual (although not impossible) to find one at this point.
She warned me not to go and google this disorder, which I of course promptly did after she left. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. Anyway, I’ve heard some things about it on message boards, so I wanted to do a little more research. She warned me that I’d probably mostly find only the worst stories, so I stayed away from that–I really just wanted to look at symptoms right now. And, I have to admit, he exhibits a lot of them. On the other hand, the list is so long that I could probably diagnose any one of my children with it, so I’m trying not to read too much into it. The bottom line–she said if he does have SID, it will never go away, but he can learn to deal with it, and should be a fully functioning adult, capable of a career, marriage and family if he so desires. As the bottom line is my concern, I was quite relieved to hear that!
It is her recommendation that we also have an occupational therapist evaluate him. An OT will be able to help him with some of his listening problems, and unless we address that first, she felt that speech therapy will not be as effective as we want it to be. So, while I think our follow-up meeting will still be Monday as planned, we’re also looking at having one more evaluation after that. I guess we’ll be looking at having both speech and occupational therapists come out to the house, at least until he’s three, and then I guess he’ll be getting help from the school district (?) (Ironic given our new plan to homeschool) unless we look into some kind of private therapy, but I have no idea how our insurance would handle that, and I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here. I guess the only thing to do is take it one day at time, hear what everyone has to say, and come up with a plan of action. Either way, he’s still our Moose, and we’ll love him no matter what!