Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Got My Mama Bear Fighting Gloves On

We had a list of specific goals for Nolan in the Early Intervention system:

  • Begin babbling (not yet- at least with consonants)

  • Turn and respond to voices (check! accomplished)

  • Start to recognize and respond to environmental sounds (i.e. doorbell) (doens't recognize these yet)

  • Begin to vocalize needs as demonstrated in pitch of cries (i.e. hungry, mad, etc) (Check! accomplished)

  • Vocalizing more to identify/recognize people/objects (e.g. mamama dadadada) (not yet)

Our SLP believes he has met his goals and is now age appropriate. She is going to test him on Monday so that EI can disenroll him from the system.


Why does EVERYTHING have to be a fight? There are so many reasons I want Nolan to stay in the early intervention system. Among them:

  • Nolan has a moderate hearing loss. This level of loss is educationally significant in prelingual children. Heck, it's educationally significant in postlingual children!

  • We do not yet know if his hearing loss is stable or progressive.

  • Meeting goals at six months does not mean that he will remain on target for speech and language at a later date.

  • Prime language acquisition time is from the ages of 7-12 months. Kicking him out of the system just before that time period could be detrimental to his development.

  • Kids with hearing loss qualify for EI regardless of performance on standardized tests.

I would never forgive myself if I allowed the system to disenroll Nolan, and then find out that he had slipped further behind because services were discontinued just as he really needed them!

Thanks to some very helpful advice on the listen-up email list, I am going to ammend his IFSP to state different goals. Goals that are more far-reaching, such as including a goal to be included in a mainstream school setting. I am going to request that if speech therapy stops, then the services of a ToD (Teacher of the Deaf) begin.

Wish me luck as I call EI tomorrow, and begin the fight to keep my little boy at an age-appropriate level for language development!


Drew's Mom said...

I am SHOCKED! Seriously, someone pinch me, I must be dreaming. They are trying to disenroll a six month old baby?

Good Luck! And, if you need others to put on some gloves, give me a call.

MB said...

That is freaking ridiculous! Get a TOD and get rid of that SLP. She clearly doesn't have a lot of experience with HOH kids.

Whenever they ask you questions to evaluate him in the future, just say "nope, he doesn't do that" or "maaaybe...there was that one time...well...I guess no." I find it's more believable if you look very depressed when answering. Not that I would EVER try something like that myself. La la la.

leahlefler said...

I'm starting the fight this morning. I'm enlisting the help of our audiologist! She's pretty good at making the EI people fall in line.

As a side note, the SLP took a look at Nolan's mouth and his upper lip frenulum is attached at the bottom of his gums. Apparently, that could interfere with speech and we might have to have it clipped. This is from the same SLP that wants to disenroll him!!! *banging head against wall*

We don't have any ToD's in this area (I think there might be one with the school district that doesn't work with EI), but I'm going to insist that they find one.

Megan said...

I am so surprised. I can't believe it either. Luca has a mild to moderate hearing loss and our team has never thought about disenrolling him. He progressing great, but... I'll have to look at our goals and send them to you. Our goals are for the 1 year mark. You might want to contact Hands and Voices, I know here in Colorado they can attend your meetings and help you voice your rights. Here in CO Luca will be enrolled in the program until he turns 3.

Megan said...

IFSP Plan for Luca
Outcome Statement:
-Luca will respond to his name by turning and looking at the speaker at a variety of distances
-Luca will respond to environmental noises at varying distances by turning and looking at the source of the noise
-Luca will babble with a variety of intonations and consonant vowel combinations and say "mommy, papi, and one additional word

These goals are to be reached by age 1.

We reviewed and assessed our goals when Luca was 7 months because our previous goals/milestones were reached, so it sounds like you might need to redo your milestones for Nolan.

leahlefler said...

Megan, thanks for your list of goals. I am definitely going to revisit Nolan's goals and update them to reflect the longer term.

Luckily our EI coordinator is on our side and said there is no way we are terminating services. We may need to find a new SLP or find a TOD in our area, though!