Friday, April 27, 2007

About the SHIELD meeting

The meeting with the SHIELD nurses on Monday went off pretty well. SHIELD (South Hennepin Interagency Early Learning and Development) is a planning, coordination, and evaluation service provided by Bloomington Public Health in conjunction with the south Hennepin County public school districts to determine eligibility of children birth to three years of age for special services. You can call them if you feel your infant or toddler may have a developmental delay in the areas of cognition, communication, social/emotional development, or motor movement. The reason I had called them was not out of worry but to get a formal assessment of particularly speech development in Vansh. He has been labelling new things everyday but was still not putting together 2 words in the right context, so to say, when I had called them. He would add 'आया' to everything and say phrases like 'पानी आया' or 'दुदु आया' when actually what he meant was 'पानी चाहिऐ' 'दुदु पिया' etc. He had just begun, so I knew it was okay but nevertheless its better to have my peace of mind, I thought.

A public health nurse and a speech pathologist visited us for an hour. The PHN spoke with me for about 20-25 minutes and then both of them played with Vansh, showing him various soft animal toys like cat and horse and monkey and asking him what they were; showing him a picture book with pictures of everyday things - foods, clothes, etc. Vansh enthusiastically joined in the play and did pretty well at naming those things, also throwing in 'meow' and 'neigh' for special effects. Vansh is doing just fine and doesn't need any speech lessons, they said. Had he had a speech problem in the nurses' opinion, they would have enrolled him for speech classes probably twice a week. They said if a new 2 year old can label about 20-25 common objects like his body parts, animals, food items,etc he/she is doing just fine. Vansh was also imitating pretty well whatever they were saying. They also addressed my concern of him putting together 2 words in the wrong context or not using the correct verb/descriptive words and they said that it will happen once he has a vocab of more than 50 words or so and its okay as long as he is making an effort. They were pretty happy with all his other skills like fine and gross motor, personal-social, etc. They also gave me some tips for concerns I had about his behaviour with other kids as he has been shouting and hitting (not violently but hitting nevertheless) off late. Being consistent, not letting him have his way when he does one of these and also the 'time out' technique I have been using are some of the suggestions they gave. The same night I also read step by step directions about applying this method in the book 'Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children' (the same article is also available online at their website).

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