By age three, Caroline and Christopher had a noticeably larger vocabulary. While Taylor spoke with words that I could understand, his pronunciation was at times difficult for my husband to understand and I would have to interpret. At the same time, we transferred them into a Montessori class, hoping they would be more stimulated and challenged. They remained in the same classroom as a comfort for each other and continued to progress socially and somewhat academically. Taylor has always been very affectionate, but can be timid at times. We felt like he needed that sibling security.
With a new school year starting, we decided to separate the boys as they would pair up in the classroom and could be disruptive and non-compliant. Taylor and Caroline remained in the same class for six months more, then separated in hopes of them developing more independence. During this time, Taylor had ear tubes placed, after discovering he had a 20% hearing loss due to frequent ear infections.
Within a few months of being in an independent classroom, we were seeing a low frustration tolerance, emotional outbursts, a high activity level, low self-esteem and a large gap in Taylors language development in comparison to his siblings. Comparison can be a double edged sword, but we felt like intervention was necessary. We returned to Dr. Ghodsi, who agreed with us that a neuropsychological evaluation was needed. Taylor saw Dr. Marie Walker who suggested we have a language evaluation by a speech pathologist and made other recommendations in dealing with his learning issues.
Taylor continued to see a speech pathologist and we utilized a different teaching strategy which showed promise, but the gap continued to widen. We felt like the speech therapy was beneficial but limited as he was seeing her for 1 hour a few days a week. We felt like there had to be something available that provided a more intense focus on Taylors needs. Finally, the therapist recommended we look at Capitol School. On our initial visit to observe, in the Fall of 1998, I felt like we had entered a very caring, nurturing environment. The classroom size was appealing and Lauren Brice was very calm and reassuring. Taylor began to make friends and his social and language skills began to improve.
During that year we had him tested by an audiologist who diagnosed CAPD (central auditory processing disorder). This diagnosis helped Lauren modify her teaching techniques to fit Taylors needs. Toward the end of the school year, he was re-evaluated by Dr. Nancy Nussbaum and Dr. Ghodsi to address Taylors apparent attention deficit and fine motor development, as well as his difficulty in maintaining appropriate interactions with peers. It was felt that pharmaceutical intervention was necessary which has helped immensely. Lauren was his speech therapist during the summer and he returned in the Fall 99 to Rebecca Hoards classroom where he continued to blossom under her diligent and caring teaching.
As Taylors education at Capitol School continues this year with Judy Lowe, I remain amazed. On a recent follow-up visit with Dr. Ghodsi, Taylor began reading to him from his classroom reader. The incredulous look on Dr. Ghodsis face was priceless. Taylor was reading at such a rapid pace at or above grade level that we were both awestruck. It made my heart sing to think of how far we had come from the first ultrasound picture of Taylor and the success he has achieved because of the fine intervention he has received at Capitol School.