Monday, October 20, 2014

Kaufman Evaluation Day

Well, we made it to West Bloomfield, MI!  It was a 13 hour car trip, divided over two days.  Kiddos did pretty good, thank goodness for technology!

The morning started bright and early, with Little Brother escaping from his pack and play and playing in the living area of our two bedroom suite hotel (which is awesome btw).  Anyway, after getting ready for the day we headed off to the Kaufman Children's Center.  I felt like I was headed off to the first day of school, I was nervous and excited.

But we made it!

Speech Evaluation:

I think what I've been most nervous about is how Kiddo would work with Ms. Nancy, but he was great!  I got to watch from a separate room through the window while he had fun with her toys and did his best with responding to all of her requests.  After his eval with Nancy, I went in to talk to her for a while about her observations.  She told me she sees a lot of potential in him, it just will take longer for him to resolve from apraxia since he has so many other delays and areas to focus on, in addition to the speech.

She told me the goals she wants to work on with him for the week and they include the following:
  • Working on his t, d, n, w, and h sounds
  • Working on final consonants
  • Naming nouns, verbs, and functions in 2-3 word phrases
  • Learning how to ask questions
And can I just say, yes it's true, Nancy Kaufman is absolutely AMAZING!  She is awesome at keeping him motivated, balancing play with lots of repetitions of speech.  I think my jaw dropped at one point at the phrases she was able to get out of this kid that no one has ever attempted to get him to say yet.  No wonder she's called the queen of apraxia and I feel so blessed to be able to work with her this week.  I can't wait to see the progress he'll make and how she'll go about working on these goals with him.  I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight, I'm that excited. :)

OT Evaluation:

Our OT for the week, Ms. Jessica is absolutely fabulous and I'm so excited to see her work with him.  She continually was pointing out things to me, some of which I knew or therapists had pointed out to me, some things I didn't know.  I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed with all the info, but she reassured me she'd have all this in writing for me, and would give me a plan of action as to how to work with him on all these areas after the week was over.  I was so glad to hear her say that what our OT at home is working on with him at home is exactly what Kiddo needs to be working on, so I feel we're on the right track.  Ms. Jessica is a lot more aware of other issues our OT does not know about (such as oral motor), and so for that, I'm grateful for the new insight.

Kiddo had a few moments where he freaked out about something she wanted him to do, usually oral motor related, but overall he was very cooperative and his normal cute self and had fun.

After the two hour eval, we came up with a plan.  He will have an hour of OT for the next three days, where we will work on the following areas:
  • Oral-motor skills, working specifically on a stronger bite, blowing without puffing out his cheeks, using a straw or whistle without biting it for stability, putting his tongue up on the roof of his mouth, less sensitivity to certain foods/textures, and introducing him to new foods since he is such a picky eater.  
  • Motor skills, specifically on building up his core strength and stability.  Ms. Jessica said once we get his core stronger and more stable while he's moving (instead of the waddling while he runs, sitting in a squat, turning sideways to go up and down steps, etc), we should see a jump in his oral and fine motor skills, as well as speech, and so she really wants to focus on this, as it's (no pun intended) core to all other areas of development.  Our OT at home works on this a lot, but I'm interested to see how Ms. Jessica will work on this with Kiddo.
  • Sensory motor, working on his vestibular and proprioceptive issues.  She said his vestibular issues are very minor now, so we've obviously made great progress with our OT at home, but proprioceptive still seems to be the area we're struggling with and I'm intrigued to see what she'll work on with him to help him with that.
The Schedule:

On Tuesday and Wednesday we'll have speech with Nancy Kaufman twice a day in the morning, with a half hour break in between, have a break for lunch, and be back at 1:00 for his OT session.

On Thursday (our last day) we'll have just one speech session and a consultation, and then an OT session and a consultation and be done by noon.  I look forward to the consultations so I can learn how to implement what he's learning at home and keep the progress going forward, as well as share the info with his therapists at home.

Oh, and so I don't forget about Little Brother and Grandma (who so generously came along for the trip to help me watch Little Brother) they had a blast at the local library and story time where they got to play with a parachute.

Stay tuned for Day 2!

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