Now ‘normal’ is actually quite a broad range on the bell curve, covering something like the 17th percentile through the 83rd.
Scooter’s grammar receives the lowest score, right at that lowest point. Interestingly, he missed several questions that required him to differentiate various forms of ‘he’ and ‘she.’ I had noticed this at our first appointment and have since observed that he does not seem to understand the difference at the most basic level; that is, he doesn’t seem to make a distinction between boys and girls.
His receptive language is the next weakest, at around the 37th percentile. He does fine with simple commands, but loses content once you add more than one adjective or subordinating clauses. That, and he got bored with the test and started pointing at every picture on every page.
His expressive language is dead average. 50th percentile.
Our speech pathologist will start speech therapy proper sometime soon. Her primary focus will be his pitch and prosody; he has a tendency to get high and squeaky, which she feels is impairing his intelligibility. She pointed out that without the pitch problem, it’s unlikely he would qualify for therapy.
To be honest, I wouldn’t mind his voice coming down an octave or so, but I don’t know what greater impact it might have. For all of my son’s apparent ‘normality,’ the tests don’t measure the way that he thinks or the fact that the way he tends to express himself does not match the conversations of his peers. They don’t capture the fact that, in my opinion, his language comes nowhere near to matching his obvious intelligence. But at least we will still have him in therapy. Our foot is in the door.
And we have been wedging our way in further.
Via the speech pathologist, we now have a referral for an occupational therapy evaluation and a developmental pediatrician. Both are given “per parental observation,” since she didn’t get to witness a meltdown or his off-balance run. We will get in for the OT evaluation in May, but it is likely that we won’t have a chance to see the pediatrician before leaving the area; not only is there at least a year-long wait, Scooter also doesn’t raise enough red flags.
Frustrated that our near-enough normal son might fall through the cracks, we have turned to a private clinic in addition. After coming to expect to wait for months on end (so that the May evaluation sounded amazingly soon), it was a shock when they told us they could schedule us for the next week. And so we will be headed there this week.
I have great hopes that they might be able to help us put together the rest of the puzzle. Although they do much of what we’re slowly getting to through official channels, they also deal with issues of sensory integration. Trillian and I both think this is the missing piece, as all of our reading in the area has really struck a chord.
Now, if you’ve had a chance to read my interview of Bub and Pie, you may notice that my final question suggests a bit of what I’ve been thinking about in regards to all of this therapy and such that we’re hoping to get lined up. And while I don’t have the energy at this moment to wax poetic about how much I love my son’s quirks and feel at least some trepidation that I might lose something I hold very dear (or the tangent, how much I see of myself in him and the fear that we will lose that or that I will realize just how messed up I am). But rest assured, those words will come.