Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Early Childhood Intervention evaluation

The ECI evaluation is a state form called Developmental Assessment of Young Children (DAYC), and it covers five areas of development. Brooklyn had her evalutation yesterday, and it took about two hours. In order to qualify for services with ECI, Brooklyn would have to show a "significant delay" of at least three to four months in at least one of the five areas. She is 18 months old, and in an ideal world, she would score as an 18 month old on everything. But it's not, and here is how she scored out:

1. Cognitive - 21 months
2. Communication - 13 months
3. Social-Emotional - 11 months
4. Physical Development - 12 months
5. Adaptive Behavior - 12 months

So. "Significant delays" in four out of five areas. I really, really did not expect that, and it was like a punch in the stomach. Delays in one or two areas that overlap, yeah, okay, I understand that. But four???

The way that they explained it to me is that most of the problems go back to speech - that Brooklyn doesn't have a word for anything that she wants, that she doesn't initiate using words, that she doesn't show us what she wants or needs with speech or gestures. When she wants something, she gets very upset and just cries and screams, and we are just left to try to play the guessing game about what has her so upset. A major goal is going to be to teach her words and signs to show us what she wants to reduce her frustration and make things happier for everyone.

I know that my baby understands a whole lot of what we say but just can't say it herself, but yet the low "adaptive" score comes from her not understanding what things like "put the block ON the table" or "put the cup IN the bowl" mean. Also, that she doesn't play in "repeated sequences," such as rock the baby, feed the baby, burp the baby....three or four repeated things in a row. I think she seems awfully young to be doing things like that, but what do I know. I cried when she explained this part to me, because it makes me feel like I haven't been doing enough to teach Brooklyn things she should know at her age. The guilt I feel over this is ridiculous. I feel like I have failed my daughter, like a lazy, sorry-ass, unworthy mother.

There were a few things that made her score low that I honestly didn't agree with...like on the Social-Emotional section, at her age, they wanted her to prefer one parent over the other for things like feeding her, changing her, etc. She doesn't. The only thing is that she only wants me to read to her. They considered it a negative that she didnt have a favorite parent for these everyday tasks. That seems strange to me.

The good news from yesterday was that the speech therapist said that she saw NO signs of autistic behavior whatsoever. Thank you, God!!!!

For now, we will have a visit from the speech therapist once per month, the developmental coordinator once or twice per month, and the physical therapist has not contacted us to schedule anything yet. Every six months they will re-evaluate and see whether she is making progress.

The speech therapist said that this differs from a lot of programs where parents take their children to therapy twice per week or something like that. They visit less often and focus more time on teaching the parents strategies to use at home with the children so that the children can be benefiting from the therapy constantly, not just a couple of hours per week. I like that idea. I wonder if the physical therapy is going to be the same way. I honestly worry about that, because when I was supposed to do physical therapy stretches on Brooklyn's neck when she was an infant, it seemed to cause her so much pain that I could not do it. I cried more than she did.

Anyway, we did some initial goal-setting, and the speech therapist gave us just a couple of strategies to start using with Brooklyn at home (giving her simple choices, naming everything).

And that's where we are at right now.


Cibele said...

Here is what I think. I bet that most of the children tested would score younger in some areas. As I am reading I am trying to see how Lyla would do this. In the Language department, she gets very frustrated because she can't speak,she does know some words but most of the day she does not use in the right context. There is no way she can do 3 things in a row, maybe 2, but 3, it seems very complex. Don;t blame yourself my friend. You are an awesome mother, most mothers would not even think about having their babies tested. I am sure that with the right tools that you will learn she will blossom... I understand why you are upset, I would too. There is so much pressure , how babies are constantly being scored, compared, evaluated, Just remember that she is PERFECT in many ways!!!!!!!!

Eva said...

I think you're an excellent mother. You are doing everything within your power to make sure that your daughter is developing well. I was very happy with the news that the doctor did not notice signs of autism and she returned to speak several little words! This is great!

A New Beginning said...

I think it shows that you are a great mother simply because of everything you are going through to get her the help she needs. That in itself is alot.

I am glad you have gotten some answers.

edie & ella said...

Ok ... first of all you know that I think you are a fabulous mommy...and that Brooklyn as an awesome little cutie patootie!!!
I appreciate that fact that you are taking all of the steps that you are to provide for little B....
But who the hell are these people??? And .......well, just what????
I have 2....TWO 18 month olds and neither of them do most of what they expected of Brooklyn ... we just had our 18 month appt yesterday and our Dr was not concerned about several of the same behaviors in my girls....
Ella can say a few words ... but less than the 25 or so the books say she should be saying ... and Edie says almost no words ... well she does but we have no idea what she is saying ... but like you I feel that they both understand what we are saying. But neither of them would put the block ON the table yet.......
Our doctor did ask us whether they preferred one of us over the other but they don't and he did not seem concerned.
It just seems to me that 18 months is early for them to be making all these diagnoses ... especially based on language.
You are fantabulous ... and we all know it!!! And Brooklyn knows it too....hang in there.........sam

Jenn said...

My son has been doing ECI therapy for 8 months now. I think a lot of times they have over expectations of what they beleive he should be doing and what he is actually able to do at his age. They always concentrate on stairs at every visit lately and we have no stairs in our ranch house so he is not exposed to that. They also said he should be able to concentrate on a toy on five minutes. He can do that with a noise-making annoying toy but a stuffed animal or quiet toy, not so much. My son is seventeen months and not speaking much either but we use sign language to communicate. It really is helpful and effective. Our peditrician considers him bilingual and is happy with his progress. They do give you some good ways to help your child. You are great parents to get her checked out and help if she needs it.

Sarah said...

Ahhh, I completely relate to this post. I know it's tough when dr's and specalists tell you that your child is behind. But I find that if you're aware of the "problems" that you can work on them and resolve them before they really DO become problems. It sounds like the ECI is similar to the NICU follow-up program that Claire is in and they are wonderful. I feel like it's an extra pair of eyes that can observe her speech, behavior, and physical abilities and guide us in the right direction for learning play techniques. And remember, all children develop at different stages. Claire may say 25 words, but she didn't start walking until she was 16 months!

All I can say is that you're a wonderful mommy and you are doing everything in your power to give Brooklyn the best of everything. And YEAH YEAH YEAH for "momma" coming back...I bet it just melts your heart ( :

MrsSpock said...

I swear my son doesn't prefer one of us over the other for most things as well.

Please don't be too hard on yourself- I have no doubt you are attentive, good parents.

Do you have any Signing Time videos? My son loves that show, and picks up a lot of signs from watching it.

annalee said...

i'm so glad brooklyn has you for parents and the love you pour out on your girl! i remember that "punch in the stomach" feeling all too well when we received adelaide's test results before starting her physical therapy. i'm so sorry you had to go through that, but again i'm so glad brooklyn has you to help her and be her advocate for whatever she needs. she is just precious!
ps- your family wins for coolest "9" things EVER!!!

Jennifer W. said...

There is no way Avelyn does those things either. She can't sit still for 2 seconds, literally, to do ANYTHING. I know I posted that list of words she says on my blog but honestly, she doesn't REALLY say them. She has said them at one point, and it makes me feel better about her not really talking at all to list everything she can "say". But she doesn't talk, and she doesn't sign, and she doesn't really point. She just grunts and cries and moans and honestly... I'm starting to worry about her a little. I think one day she'll just start talking up a storm but right now, I don't know. Shhh, don't tell anyone ;) You are doing a great job Amanda.

Heather said...

At the end of the day, you are a great mom and by doing this you are getting the best help for her that you can.

I know it's hard, we are having some issues with my son and while one part of me doesn't want to face them the other part knows that I need to suck it up, realize that I'm doing the best I can, and get him the help so that he gets better.

The past is the past, you can't change it, all you can do is try to make the future better.


Liz said...

You are a wonderful mama, hon. Don't even consider for a SECOND that you've done something wrong!

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