It's time for the boys to start the next round of testing. I haven't mentioned this before in the blog (at least I don't remember mentioning it), but the little boys receive speech services from the school district, and have since they were 2.5 years old. Initially Sam was receiving fine motor therapy and Ian was getting speech therapy, but in actuality both were receiving speech services. Sam's fine motor caught up, and his speech was doing fine for his age, so he graduated when he turned three. Ian graduated from the Early Intervention program into the school district's program, which in Leander was a classroom based program. Ian thought it was super cool as he rode a bus to school for a few hours a few days a week, and was in a real class. Problem was, he moved into that class when he turned three (Feb. 25) and we moved mid-March. So, he went to "school" for a whopping two weeks. He did enjoy it and still talks about it to this day.
When we moved to Virginia he started receiving service here at home once a week. We loved the teacher and Ian made lots of progress. Along the way she mentioned that Sam needed re-evaluation as his speech was falling behind. The teacher in Texas told us that we needed to keep an eye on him and the his speech indeed started falling behind. He was evaluated and started receiving services this past Fall, and also started making good progress.
Along the way Sam developed some behavioral issues that we weren't sure how to deal with. He was overly aggressive, super emotional at inappropriate times, seemed to get himself all worked up for no reason, and was unable to calm himself down. He also was unable to sit still through a meal, or even through a short activity, and started hitting and pinching his brothers. He would spin in circles when he was overwhelmed and exhibited a few other off behaviors. Sam's teacher mentioned that he might have Sensory Integration Disorder, which is on the Autism spectrum. We tried a few things here at home and made huge improvements, and she decided that he needed to be evaluated so he could receive more services. While she was able to provide us with a bunch of info, and these few things we've done have improved his daily life greatly, he still has a way to go before he can control his body so his mind has a chance to do it's work (on the speech stuff for now - the rest of education later). Sam is a sensory seeker and is constantly craving input from his environment. His behaviors all point directly towards that and it's clear when we provide him with a little bit of extra sensory input, he functions much easier. Sam's speech has also fallen behind a bit more and he seems to be stuttering more lately, so we're concerned that his body is not only disrupting his ability to speak properly, but also is disrupting his ability to learn how to speak properly. So, Sam will be evaluated by an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a psychologist. They will also interview us about Sam's behavior to get a clearer picture of what's going on.
Ian was also showing signs of some delays relating to trunk strength. He has general weakness in his trunk and has some problems with activities like throwing and coloring. They are going to have an Occupational Therapist do an evaluation to see if there's any actual delay there, and if there is they will provide services. They will also review Ian's speech testing to see how he's doing. He's made so much progress, but he is still pretty unintelligible if you are a stranger or if you don't know the context of whatever he is talking about. His testing comes in about two weeks, but Sam's starts tomorrow.
Tomorrow is the OT evaluation, so it should be fun for Sam. He doesn't have much trouble with OT related things (at least in my opinion), but hopefully if they do find something it will tie in with the other behaviors and will help them help us make sense of this all. Like I said some of the little things we've done to help Sam learn how to deal with his senses have made a huge impact, and if the school district provides more services for him Sam will be in a much better place once school starts in a year and a half.
So, while I'm a bit apprehensive about this testing, it's more along the lines of "how can I get Sam to misbehave so that they get a good picture of what his trouble is" instead of the "Oh my gosh there's something wrong with my kid" variety. We really want Sam to be successful at whatever he chooses to do in life, and while his sensory stuff is mild, it's still there. Any help we can get for him early on will be much better for him in the long run.