Yesterday’s speech evaluation went very well. Wonderboy was obligingly talkative, so the speech/language pathologist (we’ll call her the SLP) was able to get a good idea of the range of sounds he can make. She was delighted, really excited, about the extent of his expressive and receptive language—his sentences seemed to thrill her as much as they do me. Of course, she could not understand much of what he says; his intelligibility to strangers is maybe 80%. But by the end of the session, she was catching a lot more of his words.
I had all the girls with me, of course, and they set up camp with their books and drawing materials at a table in the same room. They proved most useful in keeping the boy chatting; every time the SLP tried to get him talking about an object, he picked it up and trotted around to show his sisters, addressing them each by name.
"I can see you’re a big help with your brother’s therapy," said the SLP, which is absolutely correct. As we were leaving, she actually thanked the girls on Wonderboy’s behalf. It was a great moment. You always wonder what public school employees are going to think about your homeschooling brood, and it’s nice to leave feeling like you made a good impression. I really think she grasped the tremendous impact on Wonderboy’s progress (in both speech and motor skills) made by the constant interaction with his sisters.
All four of them! He considers the baby his special charge; he is always looking out for her welfare, bringing her toys, putting a pillow behind her when she is sitting on the floor. At the evaluation, some of his clearest words were about Rilla and the stroller.
We talked about the scheduling challenges, and as Peggy suggested in yesterday’s comments, the SLP is eager to accomodate our needs. There’s one 8 a.m. small-group session that currently has only two children in it; since my girls can come and hang out on the other side of the partitioned room, we should be able to make it work without too much disruption to our schedule (such as it is).
Next step: the Goals meeting. This is where the SLP and I will sit down with the district audiologist and the district psychologist to draw up the language for Wonderboy’s IEP. It’s scheduled for January, after the school break. Until then, we’ll just keep on doing what we’re doing, which seems to be working!