Firstborn: Aging Out!


So my son would be aging out of pre-school. At this point, he would need to undergo a re-evaluation. My husband and I were also contemplating moving. However, I told my husband we would have to make the move prior to our son heading to kindergarten. I told him it was my intention that wherever we decided to move that we would stay at least until our children had graduated high school. At this point we had two sons already. One who would be soon heading to kindergarten soon. And I’ve always felt that unless it is absolutely necessary it is hard on a child who has established friends to make a move during their school years. Although both my husband and I had managed to survive making a move while we were in school. But you always want the best situation for your own children, right? So we had planned on moving the summer before my son would start kindergarten.

So the re-evaluation began in our current district. In the psychological evaluation the evaluator quoted the teacher who had said, “He is a friendly child who gets along well with his peers. He sometimes has difficulty concentrating in class and at times is easily distracted. He often seeks adult attention, and he often offers to help other children.”

The evaluator questioned my son: “Why should you stay home from school?” He replied: “Because it is good, so you don’t get your friends sick.” She then asked him, “What should you do if you see one of your friend’s crying?” His answer was, “Cheer them up by doing funny stuff.”

His cognitive functioning was attempted to be assessed and “although he was cooperative” as the evaluation began to progress “his attention began to wane”. However on the portion of the testing that was completed it appeared that “his strengths lie in non-verbal domain.” He did better on tasks that required visual spatial and motor abilities then tasks that required verbal comprehension and expression.

The observation and teacher report also indicated that my son sometimes had difficulty adjusting to new social situations and demands, such as changes in routine, new teachers or shifts from one task to another.       
     
Shortly after this evaluation a speech language evaluation was conducted. My son was found to mild/ moderate delays in his receptive and expressive language. It was also recommended that he have therapy to improve his speech intelligibility. Again, his weaknesses in attention were noted by her.

The occupational therapist also made recommendations to help my son in fine motor and motor planning and control. Apparently, the recommendations were made from her working with my son during the week because she did not complete a formal evaluation using standardized tests at this time.

Lastly came the learning consultants report. She stated that my son “demonstrated the ability to follow simple directions, sometimes with repetition, however he consistently pushed the limits and did more then the directive requested.” The examples she gave in her report was that she had instructed him to draw two circles but he pushed the limit and drew three. When told to put the pencil down, he drew facial features in the third circle before surrendering the pencil. There we had it, she noted his “oppositional defiant behaviors” in her report. She then went on to note my son’s inconsistencies in his fine motor, numerical comprehension, numerical recognition, COUNTING SKILLS, and design concepts. She also mentioned that my son revealed some good expressive communication but had a weakness in his receptive language.

Had I not been so busy and focused on finding out all the things that were wrong with my son I should have picked up on the fact of her note of his poor counting skills and questioned was my son really being oppositional and defiant by drawing three circles or had he just miscounted??? Or had his weak receptive skills and poor attention made him miss the instruction???

Anyway that extra circle would soon haunt us because just as a circle has no end it seemed neither did the IEP process…

Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT

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About danadogooder

Happily married for 20 years except when he is pissing me off! ' Mommy of 3 boys, a yellow female lab named Curious, 2 kitties Trouble and Kornelia, and bird and fish! Yes, we have a Zoo! Love to cook, entertain, and travel. I give new meaning to, "You can't fight city hall" Cause I fought worse, "Yes, The Board of Ed! " I live in a houseful of ADHD, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing, Sensory Integration and Allergies!!! I love being a Mom, to have fun and am always joking around! My job titles are: Wife, Mommy, Advocate, Friend, Maid, Cook, Self Employed Business Owner among many others!
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3 Responses to Firstborn: Aging Out!

  1. Nancy says:

    Great post Dana. People who administer tests should be tested. I wonder how clear the instructions were, did she say, “Draw three circles” vs. “Draw only three circles?” Perhaps your son was just expecting “extra credit” as is so often encouraged and put a happy face in the third one to boost her spirit and make her smile.* I understand testing needs to be done to establish baselines and get children services. However there are so many areas of possible error esp. in inter-rater reliability that I find it often of little help in evaluating most people for anything. All tests can be misread and misinterpreted and data is skewed by many factors such as the administrator having a bad day. It saddens me to consider the number of children who carry labels throughout school who aren’t seen for the unique people they are. Often those labels are given by professionals who should be labeled themselves.

    I love the circle analogy btw. Education is a circle. The trick is to get through the “testing” so real learning can begin. My discovery is so much of the “real” learning is never found in a text book or by a teacher following a curriculum. God bless you and your sons for learning perseverance and determination in this process.

    *oppositional or not, on some level it disturbs me to consider a child ever being discouraged for drawing a happy face.

  2. Michele D. says:

    Hey “dogooder” nice usage of the wikipedia links…I’m quite impressed!!! Ahhhh the wonders of Assistive Technology!!! *wink*

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