I sat down the night before our meeting with his speech report in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. As I read through the scores I just cried. I cried tears of joy, knowing that my boy just wasn't doing well, he was doing absolutely amazing. My boy, who is profoundly deaf, was in the upper 90th percentile across the board in expressive and receptive language. My boy, who relies on a Cochlear Implant to listen and speak, is functioning well over one full year older than his chronological age in all subtest scores, including Sentence and Word Structure, Concepts & Following Directions and Recalling Sentences. My little boy, is just amazing.
I poured over each and every test, and just smiled. The Goldman-Fristoe 2 Test of Articulation was of great interest to me this year as it is a quick and dirty test of articulation accuracy. Last year, Christian demonstrated 41 articulation errors at the word level. This year, his current error count is 17. Wow. That puts him still above typically hearing peers in articulation errors.
At our meeting, we sat down with our teachers and the Director of Speech Language Pathology. We all were in tears, as our in-class SLP went into detail of Christian's little life as a Frog class member. We chatted about how he really IS a stinker, and is all boy through and through. We affirmed that what we were seeing on paper was a true representation of Christian. We talked about how sometimes he is a bit overly sensitive, how he fidgets, and how he sometimes loses interest in some tasks. We talked about how all those characteristics were typical of 3 year olds. Especially boys. We learned that he is still Mr. Social in his class and throughout the preschool. We were assured that he has many friends and is well-loved. Of course I cried some more.
At the end of reviewing these scores, I jumped ahead and asked for help writing goals for next year's IEP. I didn't even know where to begin. And that is when we learned that Christian's school was recommending that he no longer receive Related Services as he no longer requires them. What this means at Christian's school is that while he will be monitored intensely, he no longer requires pull-out speech therapy. He will still have an IEP, but the goals will be targeted informally in the classroom, with periodic monitoring as needed. He will only be testing once per year as well. Basically, Christian has graduated from therapy. What is so wonderful about the model at Christian's school is that while he won't be receiving services, he'll still be closely monitored. What this does is really help prepare him for heading into either our parochial or public school come Kindergarten, which is only 2 years away.
While we as a family will always be committed to Christian's success, we finally feel like we are able to step back a bit and just enjoy our beautiful, silly, sweet, and slightly spunky little boy. I feel like I can breathe just a little bit...just in time for summer.