Thursday, October 27, 2011

Speech Therapy

Jesse started Speech Therapy through Early Intervention back in July at the recommendation of the Speech Pathologist with his cleft team. It's been going great and we really like his therapist. My sister works in Special Education, and Jesse's therapist works at my sister's school too.

His therapist thinks he's making progress and doing great. She knows we also work with him and can see that it making a difference.
Last month we had a cleft team appointment where Jesse was seen by the Nurse Coordinator, the Plastic Surgeon and the Speech Pathologist. Everything seemed pretty routine. The Speech Pathologist evaluated him. She gave the impression that Jesse was doing well. I remember her stating he was doing well and she wanted to increase his therapy to 2X a week to keep the momentum going. I actually thought that was a bit strange and I vaguely recall questioning the increase, but this is my cleft team and I am supposed to trust them, since they are the experts.

This week I got the report from the above mentioned Cleft Team appointment and I was shocked by the Speech Pathologist report. My initial shock came from the negetivity of this report. It seems to only focus about what he's doing wrong and does not mention any of his accomplishments. I suppose this would be because according to this report, he has not progressed since his last appointment, which is untrue. The report states that he's at a 13 month level (and he was 18 months old at the time), this makes him 5 months behind. He has never been that far behind, so this is telling me he's regressing? I disagree and his weekly therapist disagrees. The report has statements like "Phonological skills are significantly impared." and "It is also recommended that he have treatment two-three times a week as the one session is not providing adequite support for this child's language skills."

Not only does this bother me because it's about my child, who I want to excel, but I am bothered because I feel this is not an accurate evaluation. My son was seen in a doctor's office, by a woman he doesn't know (because he only sees her every 3-4 months). I would not expect him to be very verbal with her, as opposed to his weekly therapist, who he knows and trusts.

So now what? Do I follow the advise of the cleft team's Speech Pathologist by increasing his therapy to 2-3 days a week, or do I blow it off and follow his weekly therapists direction. This is so frustrating and stressful. I just want what's best for my kid.


  1. Who do you see? I would go with what the weekly therapist suggests. She sees him more so she would be the best judge of his progress. That's what we do. Our team never thinks Camden is doing good enough, but her therapist thinks she is making good progress. Just because the team has more "experience" overall with cleft kids doesn't mean they know the most about YOUR kid. :).

  2. The team we go to is the Childrens Facial Center at Edwards Hospital in Naperville, IL.