Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Expressive Language Disorder

I have a brilliant child!! Of course I am a mother who brags!! What kind of mom would I be if I didn't?! Punka was completing 12pc puzzles in under 3 minutes before she was two so why wouldn't I brag???

I am not one of those parents who look for anything that might be wrong with their child - in fact I am the opposite - I fear it. So when Punka's language never developed I kept making the excuse that she was just concentrating on other things. Like puzzles and blocks and riding her bike. She was so good at fine motor skills I thought that it was just the way she learned. But when she turned 2 1/2 and I saw how hard of a time she was having communicating with other children, I opened my eyes. Then when the hearing test came back normal - I had to start admitting there was a problem.

My daughter should of had a vocabulary of 400+ words and she had maybe 40. At 2 1/2 years old my daughter could not say her own name correctly, and in most cases refused to say her name at all. I could no longer say "she may not talk but she can play twinkle, twinkle on her xylophone" anymore. This language issue was effecting her social development.

I am talking in past but the truth of the matter is that it is present. Punka is amazing in so many ways, she is definitely my drama queen, my musician and my independent little monster. So when Birth 2 Three came in and evaluated her and stated that she was definitely lagging in speech but she was excelling in Cognitive abilities above and beyond her age group I was not at all surprised. She did not qualify for the program. I should be glad right??

The speech therapist that evaluated her responded in kind but advised me that Punka did have a severe delay in language and to check with my insurance if Speech therapy is covered. I sought out our pediatrician, who stated that the report was definitely conclusive of a language disorder and sent us for evaluation by a speech pathologist.

Punka was diagnosed with Expressive Language Disorder on May 25th of this year. The Speech Pathologist also believes that she may have an underlying speech delay. Punka ranked in the 5% for expressive language in her age group. (on a side note she ranked in the 90% for cognitive ability - see... mother bragging!!) Our goal now is to find her the therapies that work best so that she can catch up a little bit before school starts.

What is Expressive Language Disorder?? This is how I understand it - there is Receptive Language which is the ability to understand what others are saying and Expressive which is being able to say what you want to say. It seems like the words just get lost before she is able to say them. Punka perfers to use motions for language rather then words because of this loss in translation from the part of the brain that wants the word to the part of the brain that holds the word. In other terms (and as I understand it) she knows what to say and the meaning of what to say but she can not find the word to say it. Does that make sense??

So here starts our journey with this disorder; Punka's first step is speech therapy and our first step is trying to "unlearn" her physical cues. I do not know what is going to be harder - her learning - or ours.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so much like Blaze. I have worried and worried about his language. Maybe I need to schedule an appointment. He gets so frustrated about not being able to get his point across too. He is also very excelled in his fine and gross motor skills. Hmmm, you have me thinking now.