Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Non-Verbal Genius

So lets say you are off work and you have a meeting around 1:15 at your house with a speech pathologist to evaluate your perfect child. And lets say that Wednesday is typically the day you do cleaning, so the house needs a little work. In this situation, the correct thing to do is get up and get the work done. Definitely don't watch an entire episode of Glee first. Just go on and get to cleaning and taking care of the child. If you do decide to watch Glee, once it's over turn off the TV. DO NOT turn on The Biggest Loser to have on in the background while you work. Because the next thing you know the house is half picked up and you will see it is 11:45 and you still need to run the vacuum and make the child lunch so he isn't starving at his evaluation. But you might be sucked in at this point. So you sit down for JUST A SECOND to watch the weigh in (spoiler alert), and see the parents have thrown the competition to save their children, and you will BURST into tears because the parent love is just too much to handle, and right at that moment, RIGHT THEN the speech pathologist will call and say she had a cancellation and wants to come on over. At 11:45. And you have to be all like, "What? Oh, of COURSE you can come on over! But I was about to feed him lunch, can you give me 30 minutes?" and she will say, "Oh, I wanted to see how he ate anyway, is it okay if I come on over. I am a mile away" and you will say, "Of course!" because you know if you say "No lady! You can't come yet! I am crying over Biggest Loser and still have to pick up toys and run the vacuum!" She will write down in her report that you are avoiding visitors and it must mean you are a meth house. So you run around LIKE A MAD WOMAN tossing everything in closets and search for the healthiest lunch you can feed your child, because the food you have will define if you are a good parent. But it has to be stuff he will eat, because there is no good reason to throw 12 vegetables on his plate if the evaluator is just going to watch him feed them to the dog. So...the pressure.

What a run on paragraph I just wrote there. I would delete it, but it sorta captures the panic of the morning rather well, so it stays. On to the Evaluation details! Once our lovely evaluator got to the house I calmed down and things went awesome. She came in with a box of toys and Henry was very interested in her (the toys) and did awesome interacting with her. I was really afraid going in to the evaluation that they wouldn't get to see the real Henry, but clearly these people know what they are doing because he took to her like a bee to honey. She first pulled out one of these: And mentally I was like "Yesssss" because Henry has one of those and he is awesome it it. Might as well start out with something strong, right? In about two seconds he put it back together and look at her like "Woman, please. Give me a challenge!"

So next she pulled out a puzzle, and I wasn't as confident. But Henry rocked it and had it together in less than a minute. She was like, "Wow, you must work with a lot of puzzles with him!" and I was like "mental note, but some puzzles"

Anyway, I wont make you listen to each step of the evaluation, but seriously he did great. She tested him on stuff way more advanced that his age because he kept rocking the tests. He can sort colors! Who knew? He just really managed to show her how cleaver he was, which was important to me because I know he doesn't talk, but you all, he is SO SMART. And I didn't wan that to be lost because he is shy and non-verbal. On top of showing his brains, he was so good and polite. Seriously, I was BEAMING with pride. Then he ate lunch and he did awesome with that too. Using his fork, eating two plates of food, not feeding ANYTHING to the dog. A win all around!

So here's what it comes down to. Henry passed the test with flying colors except in the communication category. He uses less than ten works (more like five) and he mainly uses vowel sounds. At this age they like to see 50-100 words and the beginning of sentences, which we are nowhere near. He isn't even close on things like "s" "sh" "f" and "v" which are apparently a category. But he understands. He understands EVERYTHING. And he has his own way of communicating, which he did lots with her. So we don't know what he qualifies for. She said usually she can tell right away, but for Henry she will have to run the numbers because basically he is boarder line. We find out in a day or two if he will need a speech therapist once a week or if they think this isn't an issue that will cause any real delays. But she did seem to think he was very smart, and that with their assistance or without, this will not be something that holds him back. He just isn't talking yet. And that's really okay. Which was great for this mama to hear.


  1. Well know she knows what we all do, he's a smart fella!

    So glad you got some good reassurances!

  2. I like to imagine you with mascara streaks on your face from all the crying. Maybe a touch of mad scientist hair. It really adds to the scene I've got going on in my head.

    Yay for Henry being a genius!

  3. Oh, the running around and the making the perfect lunch! Love it!

    Glad for a good evaluation!

  4. Of COURSE he's a genius! That's probably why he's not talking... he doesn't need to. Didn't I read somewhere that Einstein didn't talk until he was like 3 or something? It's all good.

    And the way you described your morning? Freaking awesome.

  5. I found your blog through ICLW and found this post very interesting as I am a speech-language pathologist in early intervention. I am guilty of showing up early to people's houses as well. As long as there is a clean spot to sit on the floor, I am just fine. When you go into a lot of homes you see some pretty bad ones. You know, the people who didn't even bother to clean up AT ALL.

    It sounds like you have a smart little guy on your hands. How old is he? It is hard to qualify those smarty pants kids, but it sounds like he could use some help getting talking. Bringing in a SLP just changes the dynamic and you'd be amazed by how quickly he will start talking if he does need speech. I would be more worried about sounds like p, b, m, n, t, d, k, g, h, w than those other ones your listed. Which words is he using now? Can you tell I also evaluate children?? haha, sorry.

    Sounds like a did great with all of the testing. Looking forward to hearing how it all turns out. Just started following.

    ICLW #172

  6. You've totally set a scene I can definitely see myself in! Then I read Whitney's comment, and I laughed even more.

    I'm glad the eval went well. :)

  7. Well, you already knew he was smart but it is nice to hear a "professional" say it. Both my kids just tested ahead for cognitive etc on every level except the verbal. They are a few months "behind" on that. Big deal, I say (after much stress). Eistein didn't speak until he was 4. At least that's the rumor I heard :) They are smart (and mine are manipulative, so you know there are some smarts there) and they'll talk when they are ready.

    You should count your luck stars on the eating part! A fork? Are you kidding? One of mine can say "cracker" but would never dare eat the stupid thing. A fork! We parents worry too much. But I'm glad this evaluation eased some of your concern - hopefully.

    And the clean house? Get real sister! These people see all sorts. Mine is a mess and our speech therapist told us it was nothing compared to some of the nasty places she goes (speech therapy for eating not speaking, go figure).

  8. As someone who used to collaborate a lot with First Steps, I'm really surprised that she told you he should be using 50-100 words. We tended to expect more like somewhere around 20 minimum. Also, as a general rule, boys tend to learn to talk later than girls. Even if they say the test indicates that he doesn't qualify for services, push them to give you some ideas of what kinds of things you guys can do to further encourage Henry to use verbal language.
    Props to you for having an eval done! Lots of parents I've worked with completely avoided it, refusing to believe that there's the slightest possibility something might be going on with their child.

  9. Glad the eval went well, of course you already knew he was a genius. I'm sure he will talk when he is ready and will probably spout off full sentences by then :) He is so friendly and of course we know he can say "mmmmmmm" when eating graham crackers :)

  10. Im finding myself getting worried that Oman isnt talking enough...but like you said with Henry, I know he is communicating with me--just not saying all sorts of words yet. Debating on an appt with a therapist...

  11. Well now, I've always said Henry is JUST PERFECT and there we go - professionals saying the same thing.

    (love your post title)

    He is also clearly a mama's boy because he didn't show you up - mine will not PERFORM in front of others.

    Also, my Dr S said 5 - 10 words at 18 months and then at 24 months the words explode. I would not be too concerned because he is a boy AND a genius (he's been working on other things) AND (also Dr S) receptive speech is more important at this stage than expressive. And you know he gets you.

    I loved the visual of you flying through the house, quickly stashing things and preparing lunch.

    So what was lunch???

  12. You are too funny! Also good luck on the upcoming FET and thanks for the comment!