Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bella's Evaluation

At about 18 months of age I noticed that Bella wasn't speaking as much as other kids her age.  When I brought it up with her pediatrician she said it was worth having her evaluated by a speech pathologist.  She referred us to an office here in Fuquay but after talking with them and finding out our insurance would not cover the evaluation (which would cost like $200) or the therapy sessions (They cost like $80) unless my child was diagnosed with autism, brain damage, or had a cochlear implant.  Bella was none of the above and their advice was wait 6 months and see how she progressed.  Well, at her 2 yr. check up her pediatrician asked about what had happened and when I explained that our insurance wouldn't cover it she said she was willing to write a letter saying she needed or anything else it would take to get them to cover it.  So I called them and asked about how to get it covered but they said they would not cover it unless she had any of the above conditions and a letter saying she needed it would not help.  I was very frustrated.  So later on that day I was heading over to an Elementary school in the area that does a program called Ready To Learn, which is like a free preschool for an hour every week.  And I decided to sign Bella up on a day Hannah is in preschool.  When I went to the school office trying to find the RTL office, they asked if I had come for the speech therapy program for Bella.  That's when I remembered that a sister I use to visit teach mentioned that her young daughter (who was 4 yrs. old) had gotten free speech therapy through the public school.  So I went home and began to do some research.  RTL does screening and can help get your child any help they may need but not until a child is 2 yr. and 10 months. Bella had just turned 2 and I felt like another 10 months was too long.  So while researching online, I found a program done through the state called NCEI- North Carolina Early-Intervention.  NCEI does free evaluations and if you qualify for their program they will help you get  the help needed and it is all done in your home!  And the child has to be under 3 years of age.
Once we passed the phone screening, we were given a Service Coordinator. And she helped to set up the evaluation for Bella. The day Bella was evaluated the Service Coordinator, a speech/language pathologist and Clinical Social Worker came to do the evaluation.  They did an overall evaluation that evaluated her: gross motor skills, nonverbal problem solving, fine motor skills, receptive language, expressive language, cognitive development, adaptive/self-help skills and social-emotional development.  She scored significantly delayed in the expressive language category and is at the level of a 13 month old.  She scored above her age in problem solving about 29 months.  And was in the average range for everything else.  She just barely made the average for social-emotional development.  We qualified for their program because she is so behind in her expressive language development.  And since they go on last years tax returns and since Dan was job hunting for a significant part of the year, we do not have to pay for anything.  Some other concerns that they raised were that she would not make eye contact when communicating.  And their is a few social skills or lack of that they are worried about,  She only pronounces a few consonant sounds and said very few words during the whole evaluation.  She also does not consistently respond to her name.  There were a few other concerns that were listed, which they did not mention at the time of the evaluation but were in the written evaluation that they sent to us.  We have some major concerns and we will see how they pan out.  She has not been clinically diagnosed with anything.  They had a hearing screening performed to make sure that was not a contributing factor and her hearing was mostly fine, we will go back in for a follow up in 6 month because she had has a cold a few days prior that might have skewed some of the results.  But overall she appeared to have fine hearing.  The biggest worry for me is that she does not have the ability to expressive herself, she understands everything we say just fine but forming words of her own to tells us what is on her mind she can not do.  It could just be how her brain interrupts things or some other things. If it just how her mind works it could make expressive language difficult for her for the rest of her life. We will see what her speech therapist says and I have some questions for her Pediatrician.  She might get screened for some other things.  We will see.  I am glad I followed my feelings and did not listen to everyone telling me she would just grown out of it.  She can now get the help she needs and can hopefully have less challenges as she gets older.  I know the Lord is directing me and is answering my prayers.  I pray every night to know how to best meet my children's needs and I know he was listening.  I will post after her first therapy session!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hannah's 4th Birthday Party

This year we decided to throw a birthday party with friends for Hannah.  When I asked her what kind of party, with out hesitation she said, "A mermaid party!"  I decided to make the party real small with only a few friends.  And after talking to Hannah about what she had in mind, I knew she wanted it to be super girly!  So we decorated the dining room to be a 'mermaid cave.' I made each girl a mermaid tail to take home and to wear if she wanted during the party. And Shalyse made matching hair flowers to go with the tails for me.  Shalyse helped me so much with everything including the mermaid tails!  Thank you Shalyse!  As the girl's arrived they got to choose what color of tail they wanted.  We made necklaces, fixed their hair, painted nails and talked about mermaids :)  We had a lunch of shelled mac n' cheese, fruit salad as 'fruit of the sea,' fish sticks as 'chicken of the sea,' and then 'sea' water which was just plain water put the girls all thought it was pretty novel.  We then sang happy birthday and had cake.  We finished up with 'going fishing' for prizes of things like necklaces, ring, bracelets, and glow sticks.  And then last of all we opened presents.  Hannah really had a good time and it made everything worth it to see her enjoying her special day.



Birthday girl in her mermaid tail!  She wouldn't wear the top I wanted her to.

'Mermaid Cave'
Tissue paper pom pom.  They are so easy and fun to make!





Birhday cake.  It's a sandcastle!  I didn't put as much time as I could have on it.  I finished it 10 min before the girls arrived.

The other 4 mermaid tails.  I made a total of 6.  2 gold, 2 purple, and 2 turquoise.

She was pretty excited.








The girls who were there.  There were 2 more girls that were not able to come.  I was so glad it was a smaller party!
Going 'fishing'








What beautiful girls!

You can see the pretty matching flower that Shalyse made in Lela's hair.


The matching beautiful flowers! 



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Charlie 11 weeks

Shalyse and I wanted to get some nice pictures of our kids, and she has a  DSLR camera.  (I'm really hoping to get one, taking pictures is a new found hobby of mine)  So one Friday morning we went to two parks and had some fun.  Here is some pictures of Charlie:




I love this little guy's many smiles!  I also love how he has started to giggle.



I love him so much.

He has such precious yawns.



He is starting to discover his hands.


I just love his red hair.  It changes to a blond in certain lights and then becomes very red in others.  Should be interesting to see what he ends up with. Who's ever heard of a baby coming out with a head full of red hair?!  Almost 3 months old!  Crazy how the time is flying by.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthdays!

Our family has birthdays, July, August, September and October.  I decided to do a combined post for all!
My birthday was in July.  Ethan, my nephew turned 1 as well. So we celebrated together.  Shalyse made a delicious coconut cake!

Bella turned 2 in August. We actually didn't make pancakes in the shape of 2's until a few days after her birthday because we forgot it was her birthday until later in the day!  Talk about a shining parent moment!


The princess cake I found on the clearance bakery rack at Wal-Mart and then made a strawberry cake w/strawberry cream cheese icing for the adults!



Bella is a real sweetheart.  She loves to give hugs and kisses.






In September we celebrated Dan's birthday.  We also celebrated our nephews birthday (who turned 2) in September.



Love all the candles!

I made a cheesecake at his request.

Hannah on her birthday, showing how old she turned. Her birthday was yesterday.  She choose homemade donuts instead of pancakes.  So we had grapes,donuts and orange julius for breakfast Sunday. 

Her balloon that we got Saturday and surprised her on Sunday morning with it.

Opening a present from Emily.






White cake mix died pink, covered with cream cheese icing.  I made an almond joy cake for the adults.  We're having a mermaid party for a few of her girl friends this coming Saturday!  I'll be sure to post pictures!



And of course little man's birthday is in July, too!!