Friday, October 7, 2011

Speech Eval and Social Security

Chloe is considered "disabled" by the Social Security Administration. I honestly don't remember doing it, but at some point during her NICU stay I signed up for Social Security benefits for her. We actually signed up for a bunch of different benefits - a bunch of forms were handed to us by the hospital social services coordinator, "Fill out these forms. You may qualify for something." We didn't really qualify for anything because Dave makes too much. (Thankfully.) But Chloe did qualify for Social Security based on her disability. She started getting $30 a month and we were told that it would last the length of her hospital stay. I wasn't sure what $30 a month was supposed to help with but I dutifully filled out the forms they sent every six months or so stating that the money was spent on Chloe. The $30 kept coming and I didn't argue.

They recently sent a long questionnaire for me to complete. They want to know where Chloe is developmentally. I sent it in and then they said they'd like Chloe to meet with a physician for an assessment to help determine whether or not Chloe still qualifies for disability. We visited the doctor and it was a fun play date for Chloe. I was curious to hear his assessment. He seemed impressed and stated that he "could mark her down in a few areas because of her vision" but wasn't allowed tell me more. I'd have to contact SS to get a copy of his report. Then they sent another letter with an appointment for Chloe to meet with a Speech Therapist. We went to that appointment today.

I know I shouldn't be wasting my time with these appointments. I mean, it's $30. Really. But, honestly, they're kind of fun and interesting and I like seeing how professionals interact with Chloe and how she responds. Plus, I always get ideas from watching them. And I'm sooo curious to hear what they have to say about her.

I had a good feeling about the speech session when I heard comments like, "Wow. You're just breezing through this test, Chloe."
  • She showed Chloe a book with pictures and asked her to point to different objects: shoe, bear, ball, etc.
  • Then she showed pictures to Chloe and asked her what she saw: duck, baby, spoon ("eat"), etc.
  • She gave Chloe a toy bear and asked her to point to it's eyes, nose, foot, hand, etc.
  • She asked Chloe to point to her own shoe, sock, shirt, pants, etc.
  • She asked Chloe to "give me the bear," "put the block in the cup," "feed the bear."
  • Chloe also showed off her two-word phrases: "up please," "thank you welcome," "more cereal."
  • Chloe's a little parrot right now and imitated 3 and 4-word phrases - very impressive.
  • There was also a part where she tested Chloe's pronunciation. She showed Chloe lots of pictures and said the corresponding word. Chloe imitated and she noted normal pronunciation errors. Nothing exciting there. At one point, though, she did say, "Wow. I have some 9 year-olds who can't even say that." Maybe not too impressive considering those 9 year-olds have documented speech problems but still... :-)
At the end of the session I asked where she stands. And she said....get this....SHE'S IN NORMAL RANGE. HA! This little one is amazing!!! I swear she just started focusing on her language in July and she's in normal range?!?!?! She's been a sponge lately and loves learning language. Solana may have a little competition in the "who can talk the most" category. :-) I realize that we still have a lot of work to do with Chloe. This doesn't exactly mean that she's "normal" now and no longer has special needs. But come on! What an amazing report! I'm so proud of her.

5 comments: said...

Go Chloe! She and Daphne have that in common. D is slighly behind in her gross motor skills still, and less behind in fine motor, but she's well within normal range for speech. I blame Lucy and her motor mouth. Gab, gab, gab.

Holbergs said...

Don't leave out the fact that Chloe benefits greatly from wonderful parenting! Aren't you going to mention that the therapist assumed you work with children? You're a bada$$ and everyone knows it! Love you!

A Goldsworthy Note said...

Cynthia, I am so happy...I want to hug y'all right now!!! Oh, and how in the world can you leave out your awesomeness???? Leticia, thanks for sharing. YIPPEEE for Chloe!!!! Love y'all!

Angela said...

I'm SOOO happy for you and Chloe!!! You are an AWESOME mom, Cyndi!!!

Megan B ♥ said...

AWE-SOME!! Did you just see me fist pumping the air?? That's great news!