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Monday, March 31, 2014

Hunter's Individual Assessment

Good morning! It did take a while for me to get the assessment results for Hunter's transition from Early Steps to the school system, but it also took me a while to gather my thoughts and summarize the information into a post that normal people could understand!

Anyway, Hunter's "exceptionality" is listed as hearing impairment, which is probably the only reason he still qualifies for services because they have tightened the reigns on kids they can service, but because of his diagnosis he will always be eligible, whether his assessments says so or not.

The assessment consisted of a social worker, speech pathologist, educational diagnostician and an audiologist. Using my answers to various questions, the team selected toys and activities to incorporate in the play sessions. He was encouraged to engage in self-selected and adult-structured play. (Side note: He was just excited that they had 3 vacuums to play with!) Observations were made of Hunter playing alone, with one other child and with adults for 2 days.

So skipping over all the technical language, Hunter's adaptive behavior composite indicated that his behavior skills were within the adequate range of scores when compared to children of the same chronological age level. His communication, daily living skills, socialization and motor skills were all adequate.

The report indicates that Hunter is a delightful and talkative preschooler and particularly liked playing in the housekeeper center (we are about to put him on payroll at home!). He labeled many of the plastic food items and enjoyed stringing beads and successfully counted to 15, skipped 16 and went on to twenty.

He used common objects functionally, activated toys, nested cups, completed a three-piece foam board, remembered placement of objects removed from sight, sorted by size and color, and also matched other objects to their pictures. When speaking, he used personal pronouns and plurals, stated his age and name and indicated he was a boy when asked. He shared with the other child while playing, imposed actions on dolls and combined objects and sequenced actions in play. He pointed to pictures of common objects and actions, labeled pictures in books, verbally responded to yes/no questions and pointed in response to those questions about personal needs. He demonstrated an understanding of the quantitative concepts of one, two and all and the qualitative concepts of big and little.

When these skills were recorded on the Cognitive assessment of young children, Hunter obtained an age equivalent of 39 months which corresponds to a 75% rank, which is average for his age. (and we are so proud of that entire 75% considering he couldn't hear his entire first year of life, so he has really caught up quickly!)

Ok this report is 7 more pages, so I will try and summarize a little better!

Hunter's total language score falls at 104 which is .27 standard deviations above the mean for a child Hunter's age, indicating high average language abilities.

There was a word repetition task which yields age-appropriate cut off scores to determine whether further articulation testing is needed and Hunter correctly produced 18 out of 23 attempted phonemes indicating typical articulation skills for a child his age. His conversational speech was easily understood by both familiar and unfamiliar listeners.

In the area of Nonverbal Communication Skills, Hunter responds to and uses varying facial expressions, understands outreached arms to request a hug and uses varying tones of voice.

In the area of Conversational routines and skills, Hunter waves hello/goodbye, looks at the person whom he is speaking, joins play groups, and initiates and maintains conversations. He often maintains attention while another person speaks, and sometimes waits until the end of a person's sentence before speaking, says "excuse me" and stays quiet when expected to.

In the are of asking for, giving and responding to information, Hunter gives and accepts hugs, asks for help from others, asks questions and offers to help others. He sometimes stops a behavior when asked to. (haha)

Listed Strengths:
1. Displays high average communication skills
2. Displays average early learning abilities
3. Exhibits adequate motor abilities
4. Attentive, cooperative, friendly preschooler
5. Independent in self help skills

There was a summary at the end, which is what I probably should have just included in here, but it basically recaps the above information.

We could not be more pleased with the results of his assessment. 3 years ago, we only dreamed Hunter would be able to perform as other kids his age do. And today, he's right in line beside them performing up to par.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us and Hunter along our journey. We could not have done it without the love and support of everyone around us. Hunter is one lucky little boy, and we are even luckier to be his parents.

As another side note, we were so excited that our old AV Therapist "Aunt Shelley" came to Lafayette and we had breakfast with her Saturday morning. She is so sweet and refers to Hunter as Smarty McSmarty Pants!

And here is a picture and a few videos of Hunter today at his 3 year check up! He is in the 97% percentile for height and 88% for weight. Yes, he's big :) the first one was a series of questions to check his milestones, sorry about the quality, it didn't transfer well. The second was just the nurse checking his blood pressure


And me and my boys... I couldn't leave this one out! I count my blessings


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Turning 3

I've been a little emotional lately. Hunter is turning 3 this week and as I recently posted this picture below to Instagram and it brought back so many memories of Hunter's first birthday.

The world was completely silent to him. I just can't imagine that feeling to anyone in the world, and the last person I wanted that for was my child. He was a happy baby and obviously never seemed very bothered by it because he didn't know he was supposed to be able to hear. But I knew. And as a mommy, you just want to give your babies the world, but sometimes God has other things in mind. His first birthday was such a big deal for us. It was bittersweet because it meant he was finally of age to get his CIs, but as our entire family gathered to sing Happy Birthday, he couldn't hear a single word of it. I remember being grateful at the time for a healthy baby boy who would soon receive the gift of hearing. But at the same time, a little piece of me wished he could hear the world around him and not be any different than any other 1 year old.

We had Hunter's 3rd birthday party at The Little Gym this past weekend and he had an absolute blast!

Here are a couple of short videos of everyone singing him Happy Birthday (one of the ten times!) and I'm not sure who loved it more, me or him :)