Speech Therapy Evaluation As Homeschoolers {Part 1}

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

This post was written the year before Phoenix was old enough to start kindergarten.




Why Speech Therapy Evaluation?
Phoenix was born with a tongue tie,  a condition that restricts the tongue's range of motion. Doctors used to advice clipping it soon after birth to avoid speech problems in the future. However, this is no longer the case. Parents are, now, often told to let it go, and if there are speech problems later down the road, it can be addressed at that time.

Fast forward to Phoenix's 4th birthday. While we were at his doctor's appointment, I expressed some concern over Phoenix's speech. The problems weren't major, but given his tongue tie condition at birth, I did feel it was something to address. He says
  • /w/ instead of /l/
  • /f/ instead of /th/
I waited about 6 months too see if his speech issues would work themselves out. They didn't. So, I called up the local school district to have his speech evaluated. First, I had to complete a ton of paperwork, because they had to treat him like he was going to be enrolled as a student in order to process him through the evaluation. They assured me that I was under no obligation to send him to the public preschool. This was reassuring, since I have every intention to continue with speech therapy as homeschoolers.

Evaluation # 1: The In-Home Evaluation
About two weeks after my paperwork was completed, an in-home evaluation was scheduled. A therapist stopped by, and did a few casual tests on Phoenix. She told Phoenix that they would be "playing games". He is very social, and was excited to meet someone new. :) The first thing she did was a picture flip chart evaluation. There would be a bunch of objects, and she'd ask to to point to the chair, or point to the object that comes from a cow (milk). There were also some that he just had to say the name of the animal or object that was on the chart. Next, he put beads on a string. There were varying beads sizes. She's ask him to put 8 beads on the string, and he did. There was another one where he simply had to lace as many beads as he could. After that, our evaluation was over. He asked the therapist if she wanted to play cars in his room or look at his toys, but she politely declined. We really built this up that someone would be coming over to play games with him, so he was highly disappointed that they didn't really play and games together.

Evaluation # 2: The Classroom Evaluation
Two weeks after the in-home evaluation was a classroom evaluation. I explained to Phoenix that some kids go to school in a building, and other kids stay at home and are taught by their parents. So, even though we were going to a school today, it was just for a special thing, and that he's still going to be homeschooled. Well, wouldn't ya know, the first thing Phoenix tells the teachers when we get there is that he's homeschooled... even though he's there for the day. I was slightly nervous at how people would react - but it didn't appear to be a big deal. At the preschool, he was taken into another room with about 4 other boys where they were evaluated. I was told they would be doing preschool-type things like playing, circle time, etc. But, when I asked Phoenix if they sat in a circle, he told me they didn't... but they did sit in a straight line. They also said they would be doing "as much as the child would allow" of the flip chart work, which made me feel uncomfortable. They tend to test more whenever possible... I'm assuming so they can have more data, and paint a more accurate picture of my son & his needs. But... I just wanted to know if my son's speech is normal or not, I didn't want them to test the hell out of him.

Our homeschool is very relaxed... and Phoenix is never put on the spot with drilling questions, so the flip chart testing certainly made me uncomfortable. Trying to figure out what happened in the classroom evaluation was difficult. When we left, Phoenix was really bummed out that they never played on the playground equipment at the school. I explained to him that it was for other kids, but it broke his heart seeing it there and not being able to play on it. As we were getting into the car, Phoenix said he had a great time, but did not really want to talk much about what happened. He mentioned something about pretending the coffee maker was a blender, and mixing up something with ice cream and a few other ingredients. When I asked him if it was a smoothie, he got very defensive and became annoyed, because it was not a smoothie. A few more prying questions got my pretty much nowhere, totally bummed me out, because I wanted to know exactly what went on. We go back tomorrow for another classroom evaluation, so I'm excited to see how that goes. And, the week after that is the meeting when the staff presents their finding in a report, and we discuss any further action that may need to be taken. I'll be sure to keep you in the loop about what happens with these events as I go through this journey of having speech therapy as homeschoolers. :)

  Be sure to read the second part of this post at Speech Therapy As Homeschoolers - Part 2 . 
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