I promised myself I would never label Kerri. No matter what, different was the only label we would allow. And it has been challenging to keep up with all the different medical terms. But now we have a new one: developmental coordination disorder. Well, let's just add that one to the ever-growing list.
Today I received a phone call from the coordinator of the government program that Kerri was referred to for testing for occupational therapy. She informed me that although Kerri is being treated for articulation disorder at school, we need to go back to our private speech pathologist for a speech language assessment for language comprehension and auditory processing, something she will need private therapy for (in addition to the phonological therapy she has at school).
Furthermore, Kerri's klutziness is also an issue, and she is to go to a psychiatrist for a psych ed assessment.
Which really explains why after a year in Kung Fu, Kerri still has problems remembering the routine punches and movements, and with her balance. And why she loses focus, and only hears part of a verbal instruction.
I was told that we need to find out not if Kerri can learn, but how she learns, so that the school can be given the guidance on how to help her overcome her difficulty in processing what she hears, and helping her learn in an effective way for Kerri. And I am to meet with the school and the government program coordinator in the fall, to share our private evaluations with them (since the school evaluations have a waiting list and we don't want to wait that long).
I know Kerri is smart, and loves to learn. She worked hard this year to catch up, and her report card reflected that. But second grade is a whole new ball game, and we need to tackle these things now, before she gets frustrated and loses her love of going to school.
So parents, the earlier you can get your children assessed, the better for them and you. Even if they seem normal. We are going to be working on Kerri's delays and disorders for as long as it takes. What comes natural for so many kids is not taken for granted here. Kerri works hard, every day, to keep up and catch up. But no labels please. Kerri is just wonderful, funny, smart, special and totally different. And that is perfectly normal and OK for us.
Life with Kerri is a work in progress.