CI Activation

Friday, May 28, 2010

Results of the PSL-4

With the closing of the school year, Thomas' teacher at the Hearing School of the Southwest, Ms. Tami, asked for the preschool language test (PSL-4) to be given to him by his cert AVT, Ms. Becky. This test is typically not given to children until they are 3 years of age. However, we decided to go ahead and test him anyway to set objectives for summer school and the start of the full school year in the fall.

To say that I was nervous about the test is an understatement. I knew that Thomas was delayed, but making good progress. I wasn't sure if I was prepared to understand the true gap in receptive and expressive language. So, I did the typical "mom thing" worrying the days leading up to the test and sleeping very little the night before the test.

Because Thomas is an active (aka crazy) 2 1/2 year old who doesn't sit still for long, we had to take the test in two phases looking at both receptive and expressive language. He did his best at what is kind of a boring test of following commands with props and then pointing to pictures. Thank goodness we were able to use the chipper chat during the test to make it more of a game.

So drum roll please...

Thomas is 8 months delayed in his expressive language or another way to look at it is that his expressive language is that of a 23 month old. While I'm not elated that he is so far delayed, I have to be pleased because of the journey he has been on since birth. Off the top of my head, I count that his hearing has fluctuated or deteriorated over 6 times in 2 1/2 years. These are the fluctuations that we have "caught" via booth visits or ABRs. Only God knows how many times his hearing has truly changed since birth.

Also, just prior to implantation about 10 months ago, his expressive language was that of a 10 month old. So since implantation, he has made 13 months of progress in 10 months. Finally, I have to consider that he had a "bad map" for 4 months because of his sensory integration issues -- this is when he started to speak with a closed-mouth because of all the sound distortion he was getting through his CI. It was not until his high pain threshold was identified did we know that his map was way too powerful. Note: His bad map was no fault of his audiologist! She read him perfectly during mapping sessions for blinking, eye twitches, etc.

So, I have to give this kid a lot of credit for making up so much ground since CI implantation and sensory integration identification. Thomas, you make me so proud!

Okay, another drum roll...

His receptive language is only 3 months delayed or he is understanding language as a typically hearing 2 year and 4 month old child. Can I get a very loud "Ya-freakin'-hoo" from the crowd, please? This score tells us that he is understanding much more than he is expressing and that he has a strong receptive language base from which to draw upon as he develops his expressive language. To borrow a line from my friend Tammy...this kid loves to listen!

This also tells us where we need to go from here...

Ms. Becky has me working on the concepts of "one", "all" and "numbers" to expand on his love of counting. Also, we are going to be developing category posters of things like barn yard animals, zoo animals, food, plants, things that live in the ocean, etc. That way he can understand that while he may know and say the words sheep, stick and banana that these things are part of different categories. Finally, Ms. Becky is having us work on plurals emphasizing (s).

Ms. Tami will be developing specific objectives for Thomas to focus on during the summer and fall school programs that correspond with the various themed units.

As I say quite often on my blog, I'm so grateful to have a wonderful group of people on Thomas' hearing and speaking team. I have no doubt that Thomas will continue to close the gap with the help of these talented and loving individuals. I feel so blessed!