Speech Evaluation

Today Gunnar had his speech evaluation. I wasn't nervous until the results came. Since he is under 2,  both his language and his motor skills were tested (each one done by a separate person but done at the same time). The way they evaluated him was pretty neat to watch. It was all done with play, instruction following, and trying to talk to him. They tested him for about 45 minutes before going back to another room and scoring their sheets. I don't have a copy of those yet (I will in about a week), so I don't know everything specifically, nor do I remember exactly what they said about it all, but I'll do my best to reiterate what I do recall.

First, his gross motor skills (bigger movements like walking, throwing a ball, etc) is that of an 18 month old and his fine motor skills (drawing, feeding self, etc) are that of a 16-18 month old. Christine, the woman who was testing his motor skills, said that those still fall in the range for him. He's 20 months old right now so he's not too far behind and they're not concerned with that aspect. The things that he had a harder time with, or didn't do at all, were things that toddlers usually do around 2 years, not 1 1/2. She also said that she thinks the test tends to score a little lower than it should. As far as he is physically, I'm not concerned at all. The language is where I am worried though...

As of right now, Gunnar says two words: ball and go. He does not say words spontaneously; you have to prompt him. For instance, if he's hungry, he won't tell you. You have to ask him if he wants a bite, and he will go ahead and sign "bite". When he says ball it's not because he wants a ball, but because you've asked him what it is or because he's already playing with it. Based on just the amount of words he says and how he communicates, he's at the 9-12 month range. I expected that. What I didn't expect, though, would be that he has a range of a 6-9 month old when it comes to imitating sounds and trying  to verbalize. At this point, he should very well be able to say "nana" when he wants a banana... but he doesn't. The main reason why he is so incredibly far behind is because he doesn't say words (or sounds) spontaneously. The goal is to get him to communicate on his own, not to have us prompt him and play the guessing game.

I'm still a little shocked (for lack of a better word) at the results but I know that he will be ok because God has a plan for him and will take care of this and anything else that may come our way. I worry a little bit about what may happen and how this may affect him when he gets to be school-aged, but that's something I'll have to tackle when and if it actually happens. For now, I'll wait to get a phone call from the regional center to go through the speech therapy options and then we'll take it one day at a time. When I get the official scoring sheets in the mail I'll be sure to post more specifics from that and clarify/correct anything I may not have touched on in this post.

The ultimate result: Gunnar will be having speech therapy once a week until who knows when.

Prayers and good wishes are greatly appreciated =)


  1. Diana

    If you want to talk about it - let me know!
    George was very far behind when he was 18 months old and after surgery (adnoids removed) and some work with him, he's made leaps and bounds in about a year.

    Also, did they test his hearing?

  2. Ashley

    Ooo I knew I was forgetting to mention something! They didn't test his hearing but they put a note in that it should be done since he hasn't had it done since the newborn screening.

  3. Misty Smith

    My friends little boy did speech therapy and it helped him so much! He's just working at his own pace and the fact that he can sign is awesome to me

  4. Just Another Girl

    definitely follow up on the hearing! My friend just had her daughter's hearing looked at because she was starting to sound a little strange when she talked and had stopped learning new words and they found mucous behind her eardrums which was causing her to have temporary deafness in one ear. They are going to put in tubes this week and hopefully her speech will be back on track. And keep signing with him. Kaydra always acquires the spoken word after she acquires the sign. Some words take longer than others for her, but they do come. I try to get her to try to say the word a few times when she signs it and that seems to help. He will get the hang of it when he is ready!


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