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!
9 months ago