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Even though I’ve written about Maggie’s speech stuff before, I’m going to write out a little history. She had gone through Early Intervention for speech through age 3 and then was tested at the public school to see if she qualified for services. At that point, the testing showed that she had some sounds she wasn’t supposed to yet, so that “kicked her out” … even though she didn’t quite have all the sounds she was supposed to yet. (Burke qualified at that point and went for an hour a week until this past November when he was deemed “normal” Woot!)

Fast forward to the second year of preschool and figuring out that no one outside of Maggie’s immediate family could really understand her. Hell, there were definite times when I had absolutely no idea of what she was saying. Luckily (depending on how you look at it), Logan had qualified for Early Intervention speech services and the same Ms. Speech came to see him as Burke and Maggie had (she saw his name and claims to have beaten off a few other therapists to work with our family again LOL!). While Ms. Speech was working with Logan, she picked up on some of Maggie’s difficulties and offered her services through a private practice. Maggie has now been seeing Ms. Speech (again) for about 6 months.

WHAT an improvement! I cannot get over how much of a difference Ms. Speech has made. I’m sure that it helps that Maggie loves meeting with her and is a (mostly) willing student. They both work really hard when they’re together. At this point, there’s not much that Ms. Speech needs to work on with Maggie pronunciation-wise. The problem now lies in how Maggie is processing and expressing things. Ms. Speech has started giving Maggie tests to figure out where the break-down is and has even gone to Maggie’s school a few times to observe her in that setting.

The first time Ms. Speech observed Maggie at school, she was playing Bingo with a bunch of boys at her table. All of the boys were paying rapt attention to what the next color and shape were going to be, while Maggie was not watching and was playing with the Bingo chips…adding more and more to her pile. Ms. Speech would have sworn Maggie wasn’t paying any attention…except that she won 3 times. At this same visit, Maggie was asked a question by the teacher and gave a seemingly TOTALLY random answer…except that Ms. Speech had observed Maggie and the other girls chatting about what Maggie’s answer had been about (the teacher wasn’t aware of that conversation). The answer still made no sense what-so-ever, but it wasn’t completely out of nowhere as the teacher had thought.

At the first testing session, Maggie was sitting on my lap while Ms. Speech was asking the questions. I’d pretty much give up on Maggie even responding to the question, but Ms. Speech would wait 10 more seconds or so…and Maggie would answer. And answer correctly as well! I was blown away…I totally need to just wait a bit longer for her to reason things out in her head.

The second time Ms. Speech observed Maggie at school, she was supposed to draw 7 things. Any 7 things. Maggie decided to draw herself, and Ms. Speech…and got so involved with that, she forgot what she was actually supposed to be doing. Apparently, the other kids were drawing 7 circles or something else fast and then going on about their day, but Maggie was taking her time…and spacing out. Ms. Speech mentioned that once she’s able to read, stuff like that won’t be as noticeable, because the instructions for what she’s supposed to be doing will most likely be at the top of the paper; she can just read it again. That same day, Maggie was having difficulties writing her name (the full Marjorie). Not with the letters, but with just taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to do it. Granted, it’s a long name, but I’m not sure what to do about that…

At the second testing session, Ms. Speech was testing comprehensive language. The way the test works is that there are 4 pictures on the page and Maggie is asked a question along the lines of “Show me the dog” …so she has to point at the right picture or say the corresponding number. Maggie being Maggie, she’d sing “It’s Step number twoooooo” (not sure where “step number” came from, but apparently that didn’t matter too much.) You keep going with the test until there are 8 missed in a section. It starts at the age 2 level and just keeps going. Maggie finally missed 8 in the 14 – 16 year old section. what? Ya. Ms. Speech figures once she scores the test, it’ll show she has an understanding at about the 11 year old level (she was getting about 5 wrong in the sections between 11 and 14). What? She’s only *5*!! Ms. Speech asked “Show me terrified” and Maggie pointed to the right picture immediately. I was like, “Maggie, do you know what terrified means?” She looked at me like, “duh mom, everyone knows that” and said, “Scared.” Crazy.

The next test will be the expressive language one … which is where we think she’s actually getting tripped up. The poor kid is such a people pleaser; I’m afraid that she’s terrified of giving the wrong answer. And Ms. Speech (and her boss) want me to make an appointment with the Mass General Hospital speech department. Just to do some more testing and see if there’s a trace of ADD or something else going on.

And Ms. Speech is going to start reading chapter books and cook with Maggie. (Apparently, following recipes is supposed to be REALLY good in these types of learning situations.)

We’ll obviously do whatever we can to help Maggie out, but I’m beginning to think that perhaps she’s just bored in school…

6 Responses

  1. Wow! Maggie’s really smart! That is so great that the teacher is really helping her like that! I have a friend with a 7 year old who most people can’t understand, I wish he had a teacher like that to help him.

  2. Good update – I love to hear how your kids are doing in great detail!

  3. Clever kid that one. Do not underestimate them ever!

  4. Sounds like she may be a divergent thinker, like her Aunt Cathy — thinks of all the possible answers rather than getting to the one answer the teacher wants. Sometimes hard in school, but in the end, it’s a great way to think.

  5. Glad to hear that Ms. Speech has done such a great job helping your kids. Buba is up for an EI re-eval and I’m so nervous he’s going to get kicked out of speech. He’s made so much improvement, but I’m worried if the services are pulled away, he may not continue developing at the same rate. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see…

  6. I only did a quick read…but isn’t it amazing to see what can be done to help? Sounds like Maggie needs some wait time, and when teahcers know that we always look for that in kids. I have a little girl who needs a long time to process through things, and if I just wait till a few more hands go up, her hand will go up and she’ll be right on the money! Go Maggie! Beat those boys at bingo!

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