I've been had. Been had by the RAD. How cute of me to rhyme. To be fair to myself and save some enormous embarrassment, I had taken these certain things into consideration before and I thought I was probably on the right track. Then time kept on ticking ticking ticking into the future and I forgot all about it as Genea started school last fall.
Everyone lean over and grab your Nancy Thomas book. "When Love is not Enough a Guide to Parenting Children with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder)". Yes, the purple one. Now, turn to page 21 and read #17. Paraphrased ...."they refuse to speak clearly....many of them are in speech therapy for years with a caring teacher". Then check on page 36 under Unclear Speech. "Children who whisper, mumble or run their words together in order to get the parent to bend down and say 'what' over and over wear parents out and are not learning clear communication skills" .
After about a year of advocating for Genea to be evaluated by a Speech Pathologist, I was finally able to get her seen at school. They do testing and then they have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting, to decide if she qualifies for therapy at school. These are the tests that she had:.
Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary Test
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test
Test of Language Development Primary 4
Language Processing Test
The primary issue with her speech is the halting quality that it has. Since starting first grade, it has gotten worse and she has long pauses between words. Sometimes she trails off and can't seem to find the word at all. I did not think it sounded like stuttering and it also did not seem to be made worse by anxiety or stressful situations.
These are some of the areas that were evaluated:
- Expressive Language
- Receptive Language
- Picture Vocabulary
- Relational Vocabulary
- Oral Vocabulary
- Syntactic Understanding
- Sentence Imitation
- Morphological Completion
- Word Discrimination
- Spoken Language
- Multiple Meanings
Note that Genea's articulation has always been reasonably on track and so language has been much more the concern.
So, what were the results? Genea is normal. Average to low- average. Seriously. We had our little meeting and the SLP told me when they see this much consistency across that many tests, it indicates that she is functioning as well as she can. Hmmm, I said, starting to recall certain passages in a certain purple book. I threw out a few questions about possible neurological causes to try to make myself sound smarter.
Guess what else..... guess where she had the biggest strength.............
To which I said........
Listening, you say. A strength. Huh. How 'bout that.
Once I got home from my panic ridden IEP meeting where it was of course determined that she does not qualify for extra assistance primarily because she does not need it, I took the time to set up a situation. Genea would talk on and on, in her halting and pausing pattern and I looked away every once in awhile. Without fail, every time I randomly looked away---- SHAZAM she thought up the word and kept on going fluently. Sigh. Double sigh.
The good news is though, despite all of the neglect, trauma and medical instability in her life, she is normal-ish!!!! I'll take it!