Some time mid this year, i, being worried about his speech and social development, brought N for an assessment. The PD decided to send him for screening with both the Occupational & Speech therapist which we did. Today, we went back to see the PD again who collates the two therapist reports and make the next assessment.
As we were chatting, the PD made an initial conclusion that N may just be delayed in his communication skills. I agreed because N has difficulty in finding words to express his needs and thoughts. Many a times, i have to construct the words for him in a given scenario. The good thing, as the PD says, he picks it up & is able to remember what to say and knows to use it appropiately.
She then conducted a routine screening which involves asking him questions and observing how he responds. He was given a few pictures (like colors and objects such as ladder, boat etc) and was asked to name them. He scored perfectly as i had expected.
But here is where he surprised me.
He was also given 6 sets of pictures and was asked to describe them. I was expecting him to give a one or two word answer but he describe them in almost full sentences.
One picture had a boy climbing up the stairs and a girl coming down. The PD asked him what was the boy doing? I thought he'd say 'go up or going up' but he replied 'going up the stairs'. The PD then asked him what was the girl doing, he said 'coming down the stairs'. The PD was impressed. I was also surprised that i didn't need to interpret whatever he said since the PD (who is seeing N for the first time- the first PD is on maternity leaver) clearly understood all that he said.
She showed him a picture of one cat in a box and another standing on its own. She asked 'where is the cat (pointing to the cat in the box)?'. Honestly, i thought that was a very vague question but N said 'inside the box'. And she asked the same about the other cat and he said 'outside the box'.
Another picture showed 3 mice. The PD asked him what they were. He said 'mouse' at first. She prompted him further, 'mouse or...?'. Then i stepped in and asked 'one mouse, three....?'. After a short pause, he said 'mice'. Again, the PD was impressed, she said he was the only one (whom she saw today) who answered that correctly.
Here is the shocker.
He was asked to do some drawings. He was given 4 strokes to copy, a vertical line, horizontal line, circle and a cross. When i saw that, my heart sank because as i said in my previous posting-he is not into holding a pencil much less draw a circle! I had the urge to tell the PD that there was no way he was going to do that, but something stopped me. And right before my eyes, that boy drew all four strokes with ease, yes he even drew a circle - to my horror ('horror' because it shows that i have under-estimated my own son).
The PD then tabulated his scores. All the scores were acceptable but she highlighted one particular area- his language development. Apparently, he not only passed this but exceeded it- he is rank at 4 years of age in terms of his language ability.
Still, the PD feels there is no harm for him to see the the speech therapist again to see if he needs follow up for his communication skills or if he just needs more time. At the same time, she feels that it'd be good for me to get a few tips from the therapist on how i can help him at home. As for his gross and fine motor skills, he is a couple months delayed but he still has time to develop.
Although i was expecting the PD to discharge N today but i am still pleased with the review. N definately did better than when we first brought him in. I do feel alittle ashame because it seems i have been under-estimating my son. He seems to be able to do more than i give him credit for. I am his mother, yet i never knew he could say and do the things he did today- it was like i was seeing another person's child. Perhaps, it was me who hindered him? Perhaps i should have more confidence in him? Yet at the same time, i am very proud of him. Yes baby, mama is very very proud of you. Well done!