This morning we had the IEP assessment with D11. It actually went Very Well. Everyone there was very nice. Dominic did well in the sense that he warmed up within about half an hour and was interacting well with the various assessors. We had a nurse, early childhood special ed person, psychologist, speech pathologist, preschool teacher, occupational therapist and physical therapist. They played with him, tried to get him to tell them what various pictures were, had him do some imaginative play (he fed a doll a bottle and some cheerios).
The overall consensus was we need to get the ABR test done (its coming, waiting for various doc's to coordinate and insurance, and then scheduling) because the psychologist thinks that the language delays are very likely the result of him not hearing all the cues he needs. That perhaps the hearing loss piece started during a pivotal language development time for his brain, and thats why we've seen the regression. So we get the test done and either rule the hearing in or out. What is fascinating to us is that he passed his birth hearing screen with no issues. I was 6 when my hearing loss was discovered by the school nurse and my father was 5 when his was discovered, so finding it at 3 is significantly sooner. And if we find that its very mild right now, and it gets worse, then perhaps its not a "from birth" kind of thing like we always thought. perhaps there's a physical component (this bone thing that they want to CAT scan him for maybe). If thats the case, i'll be asking my doc for a cat scan to see if I have it. Anyway, all that aside, i'm still clueless as to how i'd put hearing aids on a 3 year old.
They gave us an IEP for next school year that involves an hour a week of speech therapy in the classroom, 10 hours a week of extra focus from the teachers (basically the whole time he's there) and an hour a month with the early childhood special ed specialist. We were very pleased with the specific goals that they listed and the requirements (like gentle transitions, which we knew were a big problem, and a very regular routine, alternative communicationn method like pictures or sign language to bridge the gap before he speaks better).
The psychologist made the comment that she doesn't see autism spectrum for him, because he's communicative with his facial expressions, and interacts while playing, etc. So that was very encouraging. They all saw the stress level and frustration for him in not communicating verbally, so that was good. Basically, they saw him as we see him - which is not how the preschool teacher see's him.
Should be interesting to see what the private speech and occupational evaluators say.