Easter Seals Evaluation

Back on the 8th of July we had Jacob evaluated for the Early Intervention Program.  He was so deficit in both his physical and verbal development that they approved him on the spot for therapies.  The physical therapist assessed him using the Peabody Method and the service coordinator assessed him using the H.E.L.P. Method.  They said that he displayed delays in his cognitive, communication, motor development, and self-help.

They tested Jacob for Autism (which is something that I have always wondered about him because he’s so passive) and he did hit several of the red flags.  The coordinator thought that we should retake the test after six months of therapy to see if some of these signs and triggers don’t go away.  They feel that he’s testing positive because of his lack of development and exposure.  So, here’s keeping our fingers crossed for the next several months.

♥ Jacob measured 6 months – 16 months in his gross motor and less than 11 months in his fine motor skills.  his strengths in this area are that he:

  • stands, holding on
  • creeps up stairs
  • throws ball forward
  • points with index finger
  • uses both hands in midline
  • scribbles spontaneously
  • turns two or three pages at a time
  • places more than one peg into pegboard

The next section was labeled “NEXT STEPS” which was a nice change of pace after an afternoon hearing what we need to change.  I really appreciated it more than they probably realized 🙂 .  During the next several months we’ll be working on:

  • standing momentarily
  • bearing large amounts of weight on legs and bouncing
  • walking without support
  • putting tiny objects into small containers
  • placing one block on top of another without balancing
  • placing six pegs in pegboard (without removing any)

♥ Jacob measured 12 months – 16 months in his cognitive development.  His strengths being that he:

  • imitates housework and real-life activities
  • symbolic play with realistic props
  • imitates several new gestures
  • pulls string horizontally and vertically to obtain toy
  • makes detours to retrieve objects
  • enjoys looking at pictures and patting them
  • shows understanding of size and color

Some things we’ll be working on:

  • symbolic play with similar but not real props
  • imitate “invisible” gestures
  • inverts small container to obtain tiny object (after demo)
  • build tower using two cubes
  • nest tow then three cans

♥ Jacob measured 14 months – 19 months in his receptive communication; 8 months – 14 months in his expressive communication.  But some of his strengths are:

  • knows what “no” means and reacts
  • identifies one body part
  • responds to simple verbal requests without gestures
  • understands pointing and gestures to indicate needs
  • shouts for attention

Things that we’ll be working on:

  • understanding most noun objects
  • indicating two objects from a group
  • greeting with verbal cues
  • experimenting with communication
  • imitating two-word phrases
  • babbling in response to human voice

♥ Jacob measured 12 months – 16 months in his adaptive (self-help) assessment.  Some of his strengths are:

  • chew food with coordinated movements
  • removes hat and socks
  • holds and drinks from a cup with some spilling
  • stays dry for 1-2+ hour intervals

Things that we’ll be focusing on for the “next step”:

  • chewing completely with rotary jaw movement
  • placing hat on head
  • bringing spoon to mouth
  •  indicating discomfort over soiled pants verbally or gestural

♥ Jacob measured 15 months – 18 months in his social/ emotional development.  His strengths are that he:

  • displays independent behavior
  • hugs and kisses parents
  • shows a sense of humor
  • hands toy back to adult (uses adults as a resource)
  • plays ball cooperatively

Our next step will be to work on his ability to:

  • enjoy being the center of attention
  • express affection
  • desire control of others
  • interact with peers using gestures
  • play next to other children doing a similar activity

After making this assessment of Jacob, we put together an IFSP plan which involves the whole family.  It will be really great to get the kids involved so that they can realize that their way of “helping” their brother isn’t exactly helping him.  It will help us all learn how to interact with him in a way that will still help him learn and develop.

Our IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan):

For right now they have us scheduled for bimonthly sessions with a sensory integration specialist, once a month with a physical therapist, once every three months with an occupational therapist, and once every three months with a speech language pathologist.  This is just the initial plan but as the therapist work with Jacob they will increase their sessions if they feel it’s necessary.  The biggest thing is that they don’t want to over stimulate him and then he gets no where, so they tried to keep it to one 45 minute therapy session a week (of some kind).

In the meantime, they gave me a list of things to work on with Jacob.  They will give me (and the kids) similar assignments to work on during the week, whenever the therapist isn’t around.

  • The family would like Jacob to express his wants and needs using verbal sounds and word approximations during meal and play time.  (This is a very basic first goal)
    • Talk about what you’re doing while you’re doing it throughout the day.  Bombard him with language.
    • When you have an item he wants, bring the item near your mouth so he can watch how it moves.
    • Exaggerate your sounds and mouth movements.
    • Encourage Jacob to make environmental sounds and animal noises during play by demonstrating them at appropriate times.
  • The family would like Jacob to bear weight on his legs in order to prepare for walking. (Again, another very basic first goal)
    • Joint compressions as demonstrated by PT.
    • When Jacob is lying on his back, plant and press his feet into the ground, making it a game.
    • Practice transition from sitting at a stool to standing, use hand over hand on his knees to straighten his knees to extension.

So, it looks like we have a few things that we need to do over the next few weeks until the PT and the DS come for a visit.

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4 Comments

Filed under Early Childhood Intervention, Jacob

4 responses to “Easter Seals Evaluation

  1. Staci

    I am sure Jacob will do so good with all of this. You are such a good mom, Brianna, you are so organized and ready to help your kids in any way. Good for you!!!

  2. I remember well how overwhelming the assessments and reports can be, but I’m glad they were able to see him so quickly (I’ve heard of some places having months and months of waiting just for the initial testing) and I’m glad you were able to create your plan to work with him. I always feel better when I have concrete goals to work towards. Keep us posted!! 🙂

    • I know what you mean about the waiting. I was prepared to wait for several months, especially since it’s a state funded program. They told me that they would start seeing him in his natural environment 45 days from the time I first called them to get him evaluated. The whole process has been a little overwhelming, but they have made things as easy as possible. We’ll keep you posted.

  3. Kara

    Wow, I remember going through that entire process with Taylor. I read your entire post and a lot of it sounded like Taylor (except for the standing part at Jacob’s age, but when she was a baby she didn’t stand on her feet.) I/we really thought Taylor had Autism for quite sometime. She doesn’t, but I often wonder if something else isn’t clicking right.

    Have you heard of Speech Apraxia? Speech Apraxia seems to be harder to diagnose, but it might be something to look into if Jacob’s speech hasn’t improved as he grows. I have yet to have Taylor evaluated for it. I feel stuck because I don’t know who I can contact since it’ so specialized. All of her teachers say she Doesn’t have it, but it would be nice to have someone evaluated her .

    After we finished Early Interventions Taylor started at Lamping Elementary Preschool Program Her speech has improved a lot since starting. She still has a long way to go but it’s encouraging to see improvements. Don’t get discouraged. You are doing the best you can and getting him help will only help him more!

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