Tuesday, April 17, 2012

All because she couldn't say hot dog

This morning my husband and I attended the annual IEP meeting for our oldest daughter. After three years of this process we are pretty used to the formality of the events. This meeting this morning was a bit different since it was the triennial evaluation by the district.

Three years ago she was evaluated by the school district to see if she would qualify for services since she was in the states Early Intervention program because at the time she was receiving speech services and occupational therapy. She had already gotten an evaluation by Erikson Institute who declared that she had a global developmental delay which meant she had significant delays in all areas. The question at the time was whether or not the district would see the same delays as they did. It was a very nerve racking day. She had her evaluation in the am in this teeny tiny room filled with therapists (this changed significantly when her little sister was evaluated a few years later!) and us. We then returned in the afternoon without her for the report and determination.

On that day I was relieved to hear that the she did qualify for the early childhood preschool program. During the two years she was in the early childhood program she was a peer mentor for other students, always well behaved and a joy for her teachers and therapists.

She then entered kindergarten this past fall while still receiving speech services with very limited physical and occupational therapy. She would be pulled out of class in order to go to these special activities. She always had great reports this past year from all therapists. So while we didn't think there would be any surprises in those aspects we had been getting concerned with her inability to pay attention in some small group activities with her teacher.

The meeting this morning was filled with half of the people who have been working with her since the very beginning and those who had done the initial evaluation with her 3 years ago. The therapists and psychologists were all in unanimous agreement that there is no more need for services for her at this point!!

The comments we heard ranged from, "she's such a funny little girl", "she's such a delight to be around", "she has made remarkable strides from when we first saw her", "she is the poster child for early intervention" "she is very smart, she knows the materials", "she tested above average in many areas".  Rock star kid. :)

So three years ago this little girl:
First day of early childhood preschool

is now this little girl:
First day of kindergarten
She's turned from a very quiet little girl to a friendly outgoing little helper. My only advice for anyone who is hesitant in getting their child evaluated is to please don't be. If you have a gut feeling that something is off than there likely is something wrong that can be helped by a structured environment with additional help from therapists.

All of this came from the start of being evaluated by therapists with our states Early Intervention system  because I was concerned that she could not/would not connect the words hot dogs with the actual item. Everyone told me that "oh her speech will just turn on one day! Poof!" I am so, so glad I NEVER listened to them.  I listened to that gut feeling that told me something was off. It's only paid off ten fold now. An amazingly wonderful ten fold!


  1. What a wonderful story for the benefits of intervention. Congrats to your beautiful daughter and kudos to you for taking the steps to help her!

  2. I wish there were more parents who understood this like you do. As a teacher I see so many parents who won't her their children like you have! And, what a beautiful little girl! :

  3. Wonderful story! I too conquer on going with your gut. I did for our son and haven't regretted a day of it!

  4. YES! This is so awesome that she is doing so well and that the evaluation really helped! I love the hot dog part of the story.