Wow! This past month has been filled with a lot of testing. We waited until after his birthday to do the testing so that a more difficult test could be administered, ensuring his entrance into the preschool. So after the big birthday party, the testing began:
Physiotherapy tested for gross motor development.
Occupational therapy tested for fine motor development.
Speech and Language therapy tested for speech and language development.
It's been hard on us. Stressful for Mikail and tiring for me. Wanting him to do his best and hoping for miraculous test results, but at the same time wanting things low enough so that he is eligible for Program Unit Funding (PUF) that would get him into a preschool that would cover most of his physical and speech needs. This preschool is run in several local public schools and consists of other 'PUF kids' but also kids who aren't eligible through PUF. Just parents choosing to send their kids to an educational based preschool.
Well, the results are in. He falls into low-average for gross motor skills. The physiotherapist believes he would be average if his character was a bit more outgoing and he was more aggressive. He has always been a sensitive, 'safe', reluctant to try new things kind of child, so when you ask him to walk a balance beam, he won't until he's ready on all levels. She wasn't concerned since he always reaches his milestones in his time.
Fine Motor Development is coming along good. He is average for his age. Normally kids pick whether they are left or right handed by the time they are four or five so they weren't too worried about that, since he's three. I am, however concerned because he uses both hands but I believe he is naturally right handed. You give him a ball and he will always throw it with his right hand. Since he is so sensitive and is a perfectionist, I asked whether it would make sense to encourage him to use his right hand when it comes to things like colouring and using scissors. If he becomes adept at it with one hand then the frustration will be less and he will feel more accomplished. At the beginning of the appointment she said it didn't matter. By the end, after observing him, she wholeheartedly agreed with me.
Speech and Language. This is where the stroke has affected him the most. If you have a line up of 100 three year olds, child #1 struggling the most, child #50 being average and child #100 being wayyyy above average, Mikail would be child #1 when it comes to Phonological Development. He has a Severe Phonological Delay (delay in learning the speech sound system). When it comes to what Mikail says, he has a Moderate to Severe Expressive Language Delay. He would be child #5 (or in the 5th percentile). He has age appropriate receptive language skills (what Mikail understands) and would be the 61st child in that line-up of 100 children (61st percentile). These results TOTALLY reflect our reality. Mikail understands wayyy more than we think he does, but is unable to express himself as the average three year old does.
So those are the test results. They definitely get him into the preschool program, which is awesome. Yet, my heart breaks for him~communication is so difficult. In the past couple of weeks I have really seen this start to affect this sensitive little boy's soul. He has started to adamantly say "NO" when someone other than his 'safe circle' talk to him. His Speech and Language Therapist says that this is because it is not safe for him. He is very reluctant to talk if he perceives there is any form of 'risk'. It's not that he doesn't understand you. He is afraid that you will not understand him and he doesn't like that feeling (neither would I), so it's easier to just say "NO" and stay safe. The fear I have of this is that it sounds like he is an oppositional child, which he isn't, and then people will write him off. Sigh.
The other day Jason said something to him and I think he understood, but didn't know how to respond to him, so he kept saying 'NO' and got quite emotional. Cried and cried and cried. His little heart was so sad and that was within his 'safe circle'. I pray that it just gets easier in the months before Preschool starts and that when he goes the kids will be compassionate with each other, not mean.
So, that's where we are at with the testing. Waiting on the Open House letter from the Preschool so we can go and visit in June. Then it will be enjoying the summer together before he is off to Preschool in September.