Curious as to what went on at Julian’s 2 year early intervention (EI) evaluation? I was too. Now that I sat through one, I will try to answer “what types of things to they test?” “What types of questions do they ask?” “How do they “evaluate” and “score” your child?”
But first, a quick word on scoring and testing
It is no surprise that our society loves to put structure around everything and anything under the sun and to evaluate, evaluate, test, test, test and test again!
So Massachusetts EI has come up with a system for evaluations to help determine a child’s needs and if they qualify for services through the state funded program.
In Mass. if your child has a 30% delay in any developmental area (or a known diagnosis), s/he is eligible to receive services for “free” from the Mass. state-funded EI program. I say “free” in quotes because in Massachusetts you have to pay an annual fee to get EI services pro-rated based on your income.
What type of therapies does Julian get?
Julian’s diagnosis means he has gotten therapy since birth. His schedule right now at 2 years old based on his needs is 2x month physical therapy, 2x month occupational therapy and 1x week speech through the Woburn Thom Mystic Valley EI center.
Also a couple of months ago we also decided to add a private speech therapist at Children’s Speech and Language Services in Lexington 1x per week (in our case this is covered with a co-pay on our insurance, which is Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO).
All about a 2 year Early Intervention Evaluation
This might vary from state to state (and even in town to town? who knows?), but this was our experience of what went on in Julian’s two year evaluation. His primary EI coordinator, his occupational therapist and his speech therapist were present.
Some things they asked Julian to do:
- Stack 1 inch blocks
- Do a simple three shape puzzle (circle, square, triangle)
- Find a block when hidden in different places (under a cloth, inside a cup, etc.)
- Color with a crayon on paper in a circle – the therapist would do it first, and then give the crayon to julian to color and say “your turn”
- Color with a crayon on a paper in a straight line
- Imitate actions – patting your head, e.g. or put a block on your head and let it drop and then see if Julian did the same, or put blocks in three rows and push it like a choo choo train and see if Julian imitated
- Follow simple instructions – help me clean up, put the block in, give me the book, etc.
- Identify objects – there were six pictures – baby, ball, shoe, cup, car, book. They would ask “Julian, Where is the shoe?” etc. and see if he pointed to it
- Identify body parts – asking where is your head? toes? teeth? eyes? ears? nose?
Stuff they asked us:
- Does Julian walk independently?
- Can he climb up and down stairs?
- Can he climb up on the couch by himself?
- Does he pretend play with objects (driving a car, feeding a baby, pretending to talk on the phone)
- Can he feed himself with a spoon?
- Can he feed himself with a fork?
- Can he drink out of a straw?
- Can he drink out of an open cup?
- Is he dry in his diaper for a period of 2 hours?
- Does he whine when it is time for a diaper change?
- Is he starting to exert his independence? (e.g. wanting to do things without help)
- Does he help do “chores” or imitate things you do around the house?
- What spoken words does he say?
That’s just a few things I can remember. Obviously these therapists have been working with him for a while and they know him well, and so a lot of what they already knew about him was taken into consideration for the evaluation.
I also supplied him with a list of word approximations (below) that Julian has for his expressive (spoken) language. Unfortunately they don’t “count” word approximations as words in the evaluation though…but they do take into consideration his receptive knowledge of language, for example he knows probably about 150 signs (we’ve lost count) and can sight read at least 20-30 words.
Hope this has been helpful to those who have two year evaluations coming up soon or sometime in their future!!
Also – would love to hear from you guys what has been your experience so far with early intervention evaluations?
And selfishly, if anyone wants to share what types of things are asked at the three year evaluation, I’d be grateful. =)
Can’t believe than in just one year Julian will be in pre-school!!
And for those who are curious, below is Julian’s two year evaluation. His therapists also do a written report elaborating on specifics about Julian and outlining strategies and recommendations for next steps and things to work on moving forward.
We should have that written report in about a week and at that time I have a meeting set up with his teachers at daycare, the early intervention coordinator and the speech therapist to review things and make sure everyone knows what Julian’s strengths and weaknesses are!