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Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Man: Some weeks I just feel like the world is out to get me; I'm not even joking. One of those weeks when everything that can go wrong, every little thing, manages to. I cannot believe how out of hand this argument with the speech people had gotten.

Today Laurie, Stephen's previous speech pathologist, brought over a statement that I was supposed to have over two months ago. I knew that it was going to be shoddy and unhelpful and (unfortunately) I was correct. This is what she gave me, typos and uncapitol-ized letters, no dates and all. This is word for word what she sent:

To whom this may concern:

I have had the pleasure of working with Stephen Chiperno since December 3, 2008. Stephen has made progress with his speech and language skills since I began working with him two times a month for forty-five minutes a session. Stephen has had difficulty with over generalizing individuals' names to call men and women Donna or Grandma. Stephen has recently made progress with this skill and is able to repeat other names with moderate verbal cueing. Stephen has been using two and three-word phrases with some misarticulations due to the rate of his speech.

Laurie Maler, M.S., CCC-SLP

Even blogger is flagging this for bad writing :)

I could have written a memo this "well" (and I use that term loosely) back in middle school, and I refuse to believe that this is acceptable coming from a professional with a six-year Master's Degree. She never said what Stephen's delays were, but she said twice that he is making improvements. While that is true, it is all how you look at the situation seeing as, technically, he is father "behind" than he was when we were first entered into the program. Can you really call that "making progress"?

Finally, after going through Brandon and Laurie to Laurie's Boss, then through Brandon's boss, then through the program director, THEN a gal in the Temple office, and THEN (yes, THEN) going to a bigger head of ECI in the Austin main office, I FINALLY got two honest and usable statements. Do you see a difference in professionalism here? I certainly do and MAN, is it about time!!!

THEN I was told that Laurie has decided that Stephen would benefit from a move to Kentucky as long as his family was together. How can anyone say he would benefit?! Furthermore, she'll say he could benefit from it, but she's also saying she was unwilling to give an opinion of what "could" happen? Isn't that a contradiction???

June 16, 2009

To whom it may concern,

Stephen Chiperno was referred to Early Childhood Intervention on 11/04/2008 by his primary care physician Dr. Alvarado. Team members who conducted the evaluation were Johnnie Wardell EIS, Laurie Maler SLP and Brandon Fuller EIS. The assessment tools showed that Stephen showed no developmental delays on the Developmental Assessment of Young Children (DAYC). However, the Speech Language Pathologist used her professional judgment to determine that he qualified for ECI services atypically in his articulation in words and phrases.

At the intake Stephen’s mother reported that she had concerns for Stephen’s behaviors. Such as, he was showing aggression towards smaller and younger children. Stephen’s mother also reported that at 8 months old Stephen used 40 words and 2-3 word sentences. She informed us that as of 11/14/08 that Stephen was 27 months old and had reverted back to grunting. Stephen’s mother also reported that it was very difficult for her to take Stephen into public due to his behaviors. At the time of intake and evaluation Stephen’s father was deployed to Iraq.

At the evaluation Stephen’s mother agreed to have Laurie Maler SLP come to their home 2 times a month and Brandon Fuller 2 times a month. She also requested to have a counseling evaluation by an LPC. Since then KaTodra Jackson LPC completed a counseling evaluation to determine continuation of services. KaTodra determined from her evaluation that there was not a need to add counseling services. She gave Stephen’s mother numerous strategies to help redirect Stephen when he is behaving in a manner that is considered inappropriate.

Since the evaluation Laurie Maler SLP has seen Stephen 8 times for speech language sessions and Brandon Fuller has seen Stephen 12 times for developmental services starting on 12/08/08. During the first few visits Stephen was somewhat shy. He initially seemed unsure of what to expect from Brandon Fuller and Laurie Maler. It took several visits for Stephen to warm up to Brandon and Laurie. Throughout the visits Stephen has made progress. Stephen has shown great improvement since the evaluation. Stephen has stopped grunting and crying to communicate his wants and needs. He has begun to use 4-5 word sentences on a frequent basis. However, one area in which Stephen is struggling with is the willingness to address individuals by name. Throughout the 12 visits in which Brandon has seen Stephen he has not addressed Brandon by his name. He has continually called Brandon, “Donna or grandma”. Stephen’s mother informed Brandon that Stephen calls everyone by the name “Donna or grandma”. Brandon worked with Stephen for several visits encouraging him to call him by the correct name. Finally after using a rewards system Stephen used Brandon’s name a couple of times. Since then Stephen has not said Brandon’s name at all.

Due to Stephen’s upcoming 3rd birthday we have referred Stephen to Killeen ISD for continued services after Stephen’s 3rd birthday. We have also provided Stephen’s mother with the application packet for Head Start which she has reportedly turned in. Stephen’s mother has also applied for Pre K 3 program with Copperas Cove ISD.

If further information is required please feel free to contact me at (254) 290-2576.


Brandon Fuller, BSW
Early Intervention Specialist
ECI Childteam

And from Laurie's Boss (From what she read from his file, not personally meeting Stephen)

June 16, 2009

To whom it may concern,

Stephen Chiperno was referred to ECI Childteam on 11-4-08 by Dr Alvarado his pediatrician.

The first visit with the family was on 11-14-08 at the family home. This visit is set up to meet the family and learn of their concerns. At the intake the Stephen’s mom Ms. Moody expressed concern about Stephen’s anger and stated that he hits younger children. Ms. Moody stated that Stephen responds better to his dad. She also expressed concerns about Stephen’s speech and language development. She stated that he points and grunts to have his needs met.

The evaluation/assessment was completed on 12-1-08 at the family home. Laurie Maler, Speech Language Pathologist, Johnnie Wardell, Early Intervention Specialist and Brandon Fuller, Early Intervention Specialist were the assessment team. The Developmental Assessment of Young Children assessment tool was used to determine eligibility. Stephen’s age in months at the time of the testing was 27 months. The results of the testing were: Cognitive Development 25 months, Communication 27 months, Physical Development 26 months, Social Emotional 44 months, and Adaptive Behavior 33 months. Stephen didn’t qualify for services based on a developmental delay but did qualify atypically based on his articulation of words and phrases.

The Individual Family Service Plan was developed on 12-3-08. The services that were planed at that time were Speech Therapy 2 times a month for 45 minutes and Developmental Services 2 times a month for 45 minutes. A Counseling evaluation was planned on the grid as well as an Occupational Therapy evaluation.

The first home visit with the family was on 12-8-08 with Laurie Maler SLP, and Brandon Fuller, EIS. There have been a total of 8 Speech Language sessions with Laurie Maler, SLP and 12 Developmental service sessions with Brandon Fuller, EIS. It is reported in the documentation that during the first few visits Stephen had a difficult time with the new people in his home. Throughout the documentation there is discussion of Stephens’s behavior and the difficulties Ms. Moody has when they are out in public.

On 1-7-09 an evaluation/assessment was completed by KaTodra Jackson, LPC and Brandon Fuller, EIS. The purpose of this evaluation was to complete a social-emotional assessment based on behavior concerns. Behavior services were not recommended at the time of the evaluation.

Ms. Moody reported that she is hopeful that Stephen will be enrolled in Head Start or Copperas Cove ISD public school Pre-K3 program in the fall. Both of these programs are available to the families at no cost and would be an appropriate service for Stephen.

There is a need for Stephen and his family to receive continued support when he turns three and ECI services are no longer available.

If I can be of any further assistance please call me at 254-699-2090.


Julie C. Fielder
Regional Coordinator
BS Family and Child Development

Anyhow, we met with a psychologist last night who did say she is not concerned about asperger's or autism, and that she feels if he grows up and later has any problems he will still be in the high-functioning range. She also said she does not see signs of ADD or ADHD, but we are going to continue seeing her and try to get behind the hitting problem which is a chapter I desperately want to close. She did seem to genuinely take an interest and understand our problem.

Thank you!!!!!!

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