Pre-K had been rough but I was hopeful that Josh would have a better year in kindergarten. Unfortunately he cried again, everyday when I dropped him off. Now some people might say “well then why did you keep sending him?” To be perfectly honest I didn’t know what else to do.
Once again conferences with the teacher validated my concerns with Josh’s speech and now with academics. He could not read or write his own name at 5 years old.
At a student support team (SST) meeting I expressed concerns regarding intelligibility and decreased ability to sound out words and spelling. The school district’s Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) finally agreed to observe Josh in the classroom setting. Her observations lead to formal assessment. I thought “ok, this would have been better last year but now we have got the ball rolling!”
At the same SST meeting I brought up that Josh was struggling academically and I requested an educational-psych evaluation to look for learning disabilities. The county declined to conduct that evaluation. I also requested Josh to repeat kindergarten because he was not emotionally or academically ready for first grade. My older daughter had repeated kindergarten and then gone on to excel in school, even testing into the gifted program. I thought maybe Josh just needs a little more time to mature.
In November 2005 Josh was found eligible for speech therapy services. His scores from the evaluation were shockingly low! Normal scores range 85-115. Anything below 70 is a severe impairment. Josh had scores in the 60s!
His teacher reported that Josh loved to participate in classroom activities such as use of the computer and listening to stories and that he has a desire to learn. She also stated that he is performing below grade level in all academic areas and often becomes frustrated when unable to complete classroom activities. Throughout the school year I continued to express concerns about his pre-literacy skills and it’s relation to speech concerns. Josh was placed in the Early Intervention Program, which is a regular ed classroom with children who are struggling but not in special ed.