I'm behind on posting, as usual.
When Max turns three in August, his speech services will no longer be provided by Infant Toddler Services. They will instead be provided through our local school district. Because he has a summer birthday, they wanted to have his evaluation done and his Individual Education Plan completed before school was out for the summer so that he could immediately start services when school resumed. Great. Except they told me this about three weeks before the whole thing needed to be complete. This meant that I had to schedule and attend a hearing evaluation followed by an evaluation by the speech therapist followed by a meeting to review and approve/disapprove his IEP. If I declined his IEP we would then have to get a new one written and approved during this time as well. I'm sure this is no big deal for most people, but for me to find that time to take off of work at the last minute is difficult. But, we got it all squeezed in.
Thankfully, the speech therapist who did his evaluation and will be doing his speech therapy next year seems reasonable. I'm not sure how experienced she is with cleft affected kids and I'm not sure how big of a difference that will make. But, she at least seems pleasant and willing to learn and work with us. She also seemed receptive to some of my concerns about Max's initial IEP. She had him down for only thirty minutes a week at first. He is currently getting one hour of services. As soon as I mentioned that I'd like him to have a full hour she switched him to two thirty minute sessions/week. I think this will work even better than one one hour session. It makes me wonder if I should have asked for more time. I also questioned whether he would be getting individual vs group services and explained my concerns about group therapy for him. She seemed receptive and guaranteed at least one of the thirty minute sessions would be individual, but said that the second one would somewhat depend on how many children needed services and what their issues were. We'll see. Thankfully we do have some coverage for speech services through our insurance (20 hours/year). Once I know what the school based services are going to look like, I'll try and add some private coverage on top of that.
Max is progressing in speech, but it's been a bit slow. Not unexpected. Everyone who spends time with him notices that he is easier to understand, but I don't think an outsider would understand much of what he says. This makes his momma's heart worry about starting school in the fall, but I'm hoping it will encourage him to be even more understandable. He has a lot of sounds that he can make, but doesn't unless he has strong encouragement. I think this is what frustrates me the most. I think some of it is his two year old battle for control, but I also think that his palate is still very short and has two small fistulas so I think it is a lot of work for him to make those sounds. I'm anxious to see what the cleft team thinks when we go back in August. (Assuming I can ever get his appointment made - I've been trying for 10 days with no result.)