Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They Called

Our diagnostic evaluation is officially scheduled. December 15. I spoke with the coordinator of the diagnostic team that will be evaluating Ava. They'll be sending someone out to her school the week before her evaluation to observe her and then we are supposed to allocate all morning starting at 9am for the actual evaluation.

I was nervous as soon as the person on the other end of the line identified herself, so my initial impressions probably aren't super accurate, but I didn't get a great vibe. I can't even quite pinpoint why exactly. I just got the feeling somehow that she already didn't think Ava will qualify.

My thoughts scatter in so many different directions when I think about the evaluation and they're all contradictory. First, I feel I'm embarrassed because I might be wasting their time - Ava probably isn't severe enough any more to continue to qualify for services. The next moment, I'm scared that I'll get that same terrible feeling I've gotten after her initial evaluation and after her formal articulation test. The one that sinks down to the pit of my stomach when I realize how far behind her peers she still is. I worry that she'll do too well and then I feel guilty that I can possibly want her to do poorly. What kind of thought is that for a mother?

I need to just relax. The evaluation is almost three months away. It doesn't do anyone any good to spend those three months obsessing over what may or may not happen. And ultimately, whatever happens, it will be fine. Everything will work out.

It is so easy to dispense such advice, even in my own mind. Now to just follow that good advice...


  1. Don't forget that the schools are not the only place to get speech and language services. Check with your insurance to see if there is any coverage for private or hospital-based services. They do not have to conform to the same strict eligibility standards as the schools. Many have sliding fees scales if you don't have insurance coverage.

  2. I just wanted to say that I know exactly where you are coming from and could have written your post. My son has his school evaluation on Nov. 4th. Our kids are pretty close in age and comparing your music the other day sound pretty similar. In June he would have qualified in speech with the two standard deviations. He also would qualify in OT because of his adaptive skills are 1.5 deviations. Maybe since Ava is now getting OT the threshold for will be lower. In our state if you have two areas that are 1.5 standard deviations then you qualify for services or only one area that is 2.0. I am so relieved every day that my career was in education. I don't know how most familes navigate this process with how difficult it is. Do you feel that way about being a SLP? Sarah

  3. We just got our referral letter today and I'm so nervous. What testing will they do? The school just suggested speech and language, but I'm thinking of requesting that they do a OT, PT and educational eval...just curious what testing they are doing with Ava?

  4. Our areas of concern with Ava are expressive speech and occupational therapy (feeding, adaptive, and social concerns due to sensory issues).

    I just have a gut feeling that she's not going to qualify. As cmf-slp pointed out, we'll be able to pursue services in other ways even if she does not qualify with the schools.

    I'm just sorry to see our early intervention services end barely 6 months after we get a full team in place and working well. It seems inefficient to start completely over so soon.


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