1. She brought so many toys -- and she got down right on Aiden's level and knew exactly how to talk to him. He warmed right up to her.
2. She was extremely attentive -- to his speaking, his manners, our needs and expectations. She took notes about everything he did and really listened to my concerns.
3. She was completely honest with me -- about where Aiden is, where he should be, what to expect.
4. She is patient -- Aiden's attention span was short due to his excitement over his new pal so he was "putting on a show" and she let him get it all out. When he realized how she was talking to him and encouraging him to talk, he got really frustrated at one point. He was actively using his hands and trying so hard to use words that he knows but can't say - he got discouraged and she let him take his time.
5. She said Aiden is "just fine" -- everything is there. There are no developmental problems. Aiden is what they call a "deep impact player." He likes and needs to run and crash and burn to play. Without that element of play he doesn't have focus. As a result, spontaneous speaking tasks are difficult for him because he simply doesn't have time to think. When he is allowed time to think about the questions, he answers very strong and surprisingly clear -- time and processing are the key to "Aiden language." When he is asked spontaneous questions needing immediate answers - his responses are correct but not clear which is the problem that was noticed by his pre-school teacher, she doesn't know what he knows because like everyone else (except me) she has no idea what he is saying.
We are going to meet once a week until his next evaluation which is the least possible amount of intervention they provide - a very good sign. We're going to begin by working on his mouth movements when he makes noises and his "yes" and "no" responses.
Our long term goals are to have him articulating his words clearly 75% of the time when it is "spontaneous" -- the fact is kids get excited and are not going to be clear 100% of the time so this is a much more acceptable expectation. Also, as we wrote down "Mommy doesn't want to have to translate for Aiden anymore by this time next year" -- Jolena said that was an awesome goal and also very attainable.
Every week we'll get new things to do and have already started things like kids yoga before bed (Steve's idea not mine) which helps with "deep impact" kids a lot and getting them to slow down thinking. Also, yesterday we reintroduced Baby Einstein Sign Language -- this allows him not only to repeat words for vocab but to associate his words with actions (their sign) so he is engaging his active body with his active mind.