Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sooner Start

After receiving speech and occupational therapy from Early Childhood Intervention for the past year, we are now transitioned to Oklahoma's Sooner Start. I must say that I am quite impressed with their program. It is leaps and bounds ahead of ECI in terms of services offered and the interdisciplinary training of the staff. Based on Noah's recent evaluation he has significant concerns in communication, cognitive, and personal-social domains. His strengths were definately in the motor and adaptive areas. After observing Noah's behavior for a couple hours it was deemed necessary for him to have intense occupational therapy. The therapists stated that his brain is going a million miles a minute and he is constantly seeking out sensory input... therefore he cannot focus on tasks, communication/language, and personal-social skills. The occupational aspect includes creating a home environment for Noah where his sensory needs are being met constantly through appropriate means. For instance, he has a huge need for strong joint compression so he jumps all day and bangs objects all day. Instead of us telling him to stop banging (lets say his sippy cup) we are to give him an appropriate object (recommended a small pool noodle) to bang on things. He has an indoor trampoline that he loves so that helps alot too. About 5 minutes of jumping or swinging outside gives Noah approximately 15-30 minutes of 'calm' downtime since his sensory needs were met. We just need to focus on constantly meeting his need for sensory input. The therapists feel that once his needs are met there that his language and cognitive (memory and attention span) will flourish.
Sooner Start will be providing both speech and occupational therapy in our home every week. Once he turns three years old (which is right around the corner... ahhh!) he will then recieve the therapy through the school district. They offer a 4 day a week program (2 hours a day) for the children involved in Sooner Start. We can choose as many or few services as we would like at that point. We may not choose to send him to the program but he can still go there just for therapy during the day, which is most likely what we will do. I have such a sigh of relief... finally feels like this therapy is going to be a good fit for Noah and help him progress.


ellegirl said...

That's interesting about Noah's sensory input needs. We're dealing with an obvious speech delay (everyone around us asks why Hunter isn't talking yet) but when he was evaluated by the Texas EIC, they said he meets the minimum requirements (3 words) so he didn't qualify for services. They said Hunter would have to make ZERO progress between 18 months and 2 yrs to qualify at age 2. We'll, he's now got about 3 more "words" than he did before - words like "yaya" for the dirty, "moo" for cow and he pants like a dog for the word dog. Not real progress in my book but what can we do. I'm starting to think about paying for private speech therapy. I'm curious how many words Noah was saying by age 2?

The White House said...

wow, glad to know you are getting such great services. I will be praying that they are effective and that you continue to patiently love and teach Noah in the awesome ways you do!