A new mentor friend is taking a class related to becoming an educational consultant for families living overseas, and she asked for the background of how we first became concerned about Z and how we got his diagnosis for a project she was doing for her class. As I was about to type out the story (thinking, "Ah ha! Finally I'll have this written out to copy and paste to the blog! :-), I realized it was already written out somewhere.
We send out periodic family e-mail updates, and I'd written a few special ones explaining why we were having Z tested and asking for specific prayer for the testing dates. I forwarded these e-mail excerpts to my friend, and I'm going to post them here, with their date of origin. Hopefully, that will give new life to this blog, and I can get back on track. If not, at least the random few people who wander by each week will have a little more info. :-P
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 1:21 AM
Subject: Special KMail
We wanted to send a brief special update to some close friends and family requesting prayer this week.
As many of you know, we have become concerned as to Zachariah's lack of expressive and receptive communication. Basically, he does not engage in conversation as a child his age (3 1/2) normally would. We know that he is capable of speech, but he is not using speech beyond a rudimentary communication of needs ("water, please," "more, please," etc.) and an occasional flash in which he uses a complete sentence (twice in the past few days, he has said, "Turn it off, please," regarding the radio in the car :-).
A little bit of background: as Zachariah was nearing his third birthday this past fall, we became more decidedly concerned about his lack of speech, so we took him to see our (American) pediatrician in the capital. At that point, he was still within the lower range of normal for his age, and she recommended waiting six months or so and re-evaluating at that point.
Zachariah has definitely made progress in those six months; however, since arriving in America, seeing him in various classrooms full of his peers (such as in the nursery at our church), it has become even more evident to us that he has a significant verbal delay. Even during our time here, he has made more progress, but we decided that we needed to take advantage of the opportunity while in the US to have him tested to determine if he was still within the range of normal or whether he needed any particular extra help. Because he has been making progress (even to the point of beginning to read some short words!), we probably would wait further, if we had the option, but since we are leaving in a month, time was of the essence.
Starting tomorrow (Tuesday), we will be going through a testing process with the local university Psychology Department. I (CBK) will have a four-hour interview with the tester to begin with. Then, on Thursday, the tester will spend a couple of hours with Zachariah one-on-one. It will be a couple of weeks before I will have a final session with the tester to hear her assessment. The young lady who will be doing the testing is a doctoral candidate under the supervision of the head of the department. This setting allows for high-level, in-depth testing at a very reasonable price, and we are very fortunate to have this option.
Once we hear the results of the assessment, we will share in our general update, but we covet your prayers this week as the testing is going on.
- that everything relevant will be uncovered.
- that CBK will share everything important regarding Zachariah's behaviors.
- that Zachariah will be cooperative during his portion of the testing.
- that Zachriah's behavior during the testing will shed light on his particular situation.
- that the tester (CL) will have insight into Zachariah's needs and abilities.
- that the tester's supervisor will provide any extra insight necessary.
- that, ultimately, we would have clear direction as to how to help Zachariah progress in communication.
As you can imagine (and some of you know from experience), it is very disheartening not to be able to communicate with your child as he is growing to a point where that is helpful and necessary, and we covet your prayers that we can make progress in this area.