Friday, August 21, 2009

We've Only Just Begun

Those who have been reading my blog for a while know that we have some concerns about our middle child, Kaliyan (aka "Kibby"). She is 3 and a half and has some communication issues. She is easily distracted which makes it nearly impossible to have a conversation with her. She has meltdowns easily when she is not understood or does not get her way. It makes life with her very frustrating at times!

She also says off-the-wall things. For example: The other day we were having a snack and she said in a very mournful tone (out of the blue, seemingly) "Oh no! The meatballs are all gone!" (pause) "Are they upstairs in Bobbie's room?"

Okay, where on Earth did that thought come from? We haven't had meatballs in ages, certainly not at my sister's house (Bobbie is my sister, and lives 3 -4 hours away) and why would they be in her room, of all places? I did call my sister to tell her the latest "Kibby-ism" and said maybe she should check in her room for meatballs. They'd rot quickly in this weather and stink up her house. ;) We had a laugh over it, but this type of thing happens a lot with Kibby. She will say things that just make us shake our heads in confusion. I may never be able to figure that girl out...

Which brings me to today's events.

She was scheduled for her Early Childhood Screening / Check-in today. I'm not gonna lie. It didn't go well. We reviewed the things they asked us to review ahead of time and I filled out all the paperwork, listing all of my concerns. There were a few red flags already for me as I'd filled it all out, but there were also a lot of "normal" areas too. I was supposed to check off things that described Kibby. They asked if she could count from 1 - 10. Check. Can she stay dry during the day? Check. Can she transition from one activity to another without a lot of difficulty? Usually. Does she destroy things on purpose? Nope. Does she show physical aggression (biting, kicking...) towards other children? Nope.

So far so good, right?

But then.

Does she understand the concept of "one"? Can she bring you just one item, such as one crayon? (We tried this, because I didn't really know! First she brought me one block. Then I asked her to bring me one more, and she brought me 3. We tried again, and she brought me 3 more. We did something else and came back to it, asking for one block, and she ignored me and just played with them.) No check.

Does she compare things, such as one object being bigger or heavier than another? (We tried this, too. Several examples.) NO check.

Can she count items? No check. Can she tell which object is longer or shorter? No check.

This went on for a few more things. I began wondering if it was because we never really worked on these things with her or if it was something kids her age should be able to pick up on her own. I tried to think back to Ethan, but that didn't help. We never had any concerns about his development. Not a good comparison. Ethan had no communication problems, and started reading at age 3, and was always asking questions and trying to figure things out. Kibby's main concern for us was always her language. I think it still is her main struggle. If the communication is there, she could grasp these things they asked. But instead of pointing to which book is the bigger one, she repeats us, saying "Which is bigger?" Its as if she doesn't understand what we are asking her to do. It's not her speech (she can form words and speak clearly enough) so I don't think she needs speech therapy, but it's her use of language that gives her trouble.

Can she count to 10? Yes. When she thinks of it, or when we model it for her, she copies. She can say her ABC's and knows all of her letters. She knows her numbers, too. She knows colors and shapes. She is bright. She just gets lost when it comes to paying attention to a conversation or following one, or understanding how a conversation works, really.

So, after reading my long list of concerns, and trying to talk to Kibby about when she uses her toothbrush, and who lives at home with her (and getting nowhere, Kibby was looking all over the room, whispering about things she was seeing, and couldn't be redirected back to the conversation)... the teacher said she didn't think we could even do the screening.

Talk about disappointing. Not really a shocker, but sooooo disappointing.

So I still have no answers. The lady recommended we schedule a 3-year check up with her pediatrician and tell her all of our concerns, and she (the doctor) could refer us from there as needed. She said if the doctor is doubtful, I should explain what happened today. (Oh believe me, I will!)

We got home and after letting the kids chow down a late lunch of McD's, I called and made the appointment with the pediatrician for next week.

I have a feeling we've only just begun with this whole process. And it's going to be a LONG ROAD for this one.

On a brighter note, here is proof that she DOES sometimes color on paper. :)


Ellen said...

Hi Sue, I'm sorry the check-in didn't go well. Feel free to call or write if you want to talk. I know this stuff can be hard to go through at the beginning, but hopefully things will seem easier once you know what's going on and get used to the "road".

Chere said...

Kibby may learn and/or communicate differently than other children, but it doesn't necessarily mean she can't be taught. I used to think that reasonably intelligent people could learn reasonable things "the normal way", but life with Matt (our 4th) taught me that some children's brains are wired in a way that necessitates new ways of teaching. It is a struggle to find these techniques, but hang in there because more is known about all of this now than when Matt started school fifteen years ago!

Wendy said...

It's so hard not to worry... especially when you already had concerns. Take it one day at a time. You already know Kibby is a bright one. Everybody is different... Now I sound like your mother don't I? Hang in there...