Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Speech

Tuesday Dima had his (second) speech evaluation. The first one was done at a local clinic, out-of-pocket, because our insurance wouldn't cover it. My work has now switched insurance companies and we are tentatively hopeful that we will be able to get speech therapy covered for Dima.

The eval went well and I think the speech therapist is leaning towards Dima having at least some degree of speech apraxia, although she was hesitant to decide that without having scored his tests. Now it's just a matter of convincing the insurance company to cover therapy. The therapist is hopeful that we can convince them it is medically necessary on the basis of his ability to communicate in an emergency. For example, let me relate a story Dima told me on the way home today:

"Dima tag gym. Emma tag/push me stomach. Tummy hurt, I go ambu-see [ambulance]. People watch me wake up."

From initial hearing, while playing tag in gym Dima got tagged in the stomach, fell down and knocked unconscious, was taken in an ambulance, and woke up later to people who were watching him. (Obviously I know this isn't correct because the school didn't call me!)

Now let me translate with Dima's key (wrong) words in quotes: Dima got tagged in the stomach (possibly fell down). His stomach hurt, so he went to the school nurse ("ambulance"). She had him lay down ("wake up") for a little while in the school office where people could see him laying down.

In an emergency situation, there is no way Dima could communicate to anyone who he is (he can tell you his first and last name, but most people wouldn't understand what he was saying), where he needs to be, or how to get in touch with us. It's not a matter of him not knowing the information or even having the vocabulary, it's a matter of him not being able to clearly communicate it.

He has so much to say. There is so much going on in that very smart brain of his. We've just got to find a way to unlock his ability to communicate!

5 comments:

MamaPoRuski said...

The insurance will probably make you go through the school district for these services as it is considered educational needs...Praying he gets the resources he needs some how!

Debbie said...

I do hope he gets the resources he needs to communicate clearly. It would be great to hear more from this sweet boy. :-)

Tami said...

With the right help, it will come, I promise.
I would like to encourage you to consider 'double-dipping'. If the insurance goes ahead and pays for services, I would go ahead and get services from the school district as well. They're free, and all four of my kids have done great with their help. Alek is now done...Anya is close behind. Nick and Maddie will probably be getting help for quite some time.
When we still had decent insurance, I considered double dipping with a private and school district provider. In fact the private provider encouraged it. He said the more days the can be in therapy, the faster you'll see results.
Praying for good news from the health insurance people. ;)

Courtney said...

Unfortunately, we've tried going through the school system. We're in the land of state-run schools because our schools are so bad the state had to step in and take over.

Although I know they're required by law, since our boys go to a private school the city schools are less-then-interested in providing us any services. While I could fight them over it, if it's going to be covered by insurance I'd rather go that route.

MaybeMama said...

My son gets his speech therapy, OT and PT paid for through Children's Miracle Network. Since insurance usually will not pay for these services, CMN has set up scholarships to help cover costs for families. You might look into that if insurance doesn't pay.