In my first post about Cameron’s speech, I talked about how we took her to the doctor and while they didn’t seem that concerned they maybe mentioned taking Cameron to a speech therapist.
In the last few months, with moving, and new schools, and such that hadn’t happened quite yet. But now I’m here with a little update.
When we got to FL and settled in our new home, one of the first things I wanted to do was take Cameron to see her new doctor and express my concerns on her lack of speech and see what her new and permanent pediatrician thought our next steps would be. While the new doctor, once again wasn’t very concerned, since all kids talk at different stages, she did give us a referral to be seen by the Early Steps Intervention program that the state of Florida does for kids birth to 36 months. The way Early Steps works, is that your child will be evaluated to see if they are eligible for the program. And if they are, they will get you in touch with the different types of therapists that your child needs, or any other type of help your child needs to work on the concerns you have. So they came and did her evaluation, and I was told that if she scored below a certain number in one area, or below a certain number in two different areas she would qualify. Well, she scored low enough in one category (Speech) to make her eligible for the program. So our family coordinator got us in touch with an Occupational Therapist, and a Speech Therapist. I’m sure you are wondering why OT? Because I was thinking the same thing, but they explained to me, that since she is in the program, they want to get her all of the resources they can before she turns 3, which is when she will age out of the program. So her OT will work on fine motor skills, and anything else they think she could benefit from, and of course her speech therapist will work on sounds, and signs, and words. Early Steps also allows you to choose if you want them to cover the cost, or have it billed to your primary insurance. And as most of us know, insurance doesn’t cover a lot of these types of things, so we allowed Early Steps to cover the costs, and that has sort of helped alleviate some of the stress.
So her evaluation with Early Steps happened on a Wednesday afternoon, and our family coordinator and two others came to our house for it. They said we could have done the evaluation at the office, her school, or at home, wherever I felt Cameron would feel most comfortable. That is why I chose at home, I figured with so much else going on, this was sort of her “safe zone”. They came in, and while one asked me questions about things that Cameron does or does not do yet, or what she can or cant’ say, the other played with Cameron. Not just normal play, but sort of more testing play, trying to see if Cameron could do something, or recognize something, more educational than just play time. Then the two switched, and the other asked me questions, while the first one played with Cameron. After they were done, they took my answers, and what Cameron did during the play and calculated her scores. Which is how it was determined she scored low enough in speech to become eligible for the program.
After that, the family coordinator set to work on finding us therapists. The first to contact me was the office for the Occupational Therapy. That was sort of a shock since I thought Cameron only was going to get speech, but that’s when I learned they were just given her all the resources they could. So we set up her OT evaluation so they could come and see at what level she was at, and what specifics they will work on with her. They came out, and worked with her, and talked to me, and determined that Cameron could benefit from once a week sessions, just on her focusing during playtime, and associating things with one another. After that, we tried to find a time that would work for us and the therapist, and finally settled on one. At the time of this post, Cameron has not had her first official session, so I can’t talk much about how that went. But this will be a topic I keep an update on, so check back to see how it goes.
Next up was her speech. Because this was what she got into the program for, this was the one I was most anticipating. The therapist came to our house, (I’m having all sessions done here), and she played with Cameron, and talked to me to learn sort of where Cameron was at. We determined what Cameron would nee to work on, and because it wasn’t a straight evaluation, we were able to set up the sessions right away. Cameron has officially had her first speech session. The therapist came in, and followed Cameron’s lead. She got out some flash cards to work on different sounds, then tried to show/teach Cameron the signs for more, and all done. Cameron did learn more by the end of the session, and she has continued to do it with us since then. They went through some of Cameron’s flash cards and Cameron would show her the little bit of words/sounds that she associated with the cards. Then they just sort of played, and talked through things, and about things. The therapist said, it’s exactly how she expected the first session to go, so that made me feel good. I’m super interested to see how they progress. And we have 8 months to work with her, so that makes me feel good too.
I will be doing a follow up on both of these, maybe in a month, or two. Not sure how often I want to post updates about this, but I’m so excited to see her progress.