Friday, December 03, 2010

The Evaluation

Yesterday was full of excitement.  In the morning the Christmas tree fell over.  See, I foolishly rigged it so you have to practically crawl under it to plug it in, so it was a disaster waiting to happen.  I couldn't get it to stand back up so I propped it in the corner, and about a half hour later it crashed to the floor again.  It's okay, only six or seven ornaments cracked.  That, and my most of my nerves.

Late in the afternoon I had a meeting at the boys' school to go over the results of their 3-year evaluation.  It's time to see if they still have Fragile X Syndrome and autism, I guess.

Guess what?  They still qualify for special education!  Why does it feel weird to say Yahoo to that!?

It was fine, there weren't any surprises in the report.  I know them, I know what they are doing and what they are not.  I'm aware that words and phrases like

"significant motor delay"

"skills remain below that of typical same-age peers"

"general level of knowledge and comprehension is below that of peers"

"receptive and expressive language skills significantly below average"

"shows qualitative impairments in his communication"

"is showing restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior that are consistent with those found in children with ASD."

"below the 5th percentile for boys his age"

 are going to appear there.  But it also states things like:

"has come a long way socially since his last evaluation"

"very interested in morning activities and spontaneously engaged in greetings"

"likes to be near the other students during group time and greets them by name"

which is nice to hear, and makes me smile.

Anyway, none of this bothers me. This is not news.

What bothers me is little situations that pop up, that I'm not mentally prepared for, like this morning in the library at Aliza's school.  I am volunteering there a couple of times a week, and this morning a kindergarten class came in for their weekly library visit.  At first I was just struck by how little they are -- thinking back to just two years ago when Aliza was one of those tiny kindergarteners.

It wasn't until they were lining up to head back to their classroom that it dawned on me, this might be the very class AJ and Zack would be in, if they were "normal" and could attend this school.  These could be their classmates.  Their teacher and their friends.  I tried to picture them standing there in line with all those other kindergarteners, and it's easy to imagine.  I could totally see it.

And that made me smile a little less, for awhile.


Joey Lynn Resciniti said...

You poor thing with your Christmas tree fall! I can imagine that wasn't too amusing.

It sounds like your boys are doing really well. I hope you're smiling again because they're making progress and they have different friends than those kindergartens, but still they have friends!

Anonymous said...

This isn't specifically related to your blog post. I just want to say I LOVE reading what you write. It is so good. I can't wait until you write and publish your first book. I'll buy lots and lots and give them as gifts to everyone, saying I know the author!! :-)
Miss you, friend!!

Cortney said...

Just think of it this way- most parents don't appreciate the small things their kids do because they are "typical" and you get to have a bunch of joyful moments because even the small accomplishments are HUGE. I was working with one of my kiddo's the other day in the student store and a lady came up to say Hi and she wasn't familiar with this particular student I had with me. But, she did what I encourage everyone to do-treat my kids like you would any other kid-ask them their name, say hi, ask how they are today. Sometimes what comes out of their mouth will shock you. This women did just that, she asked my student his name and low and behold for the first time EVER he answered by saying his own name!!!! I jumped up and down and hugged him and I'm sure the lady thought I was crazy but I was so excited! Oh- and the other day my student actually pee'd in the toilet and I ran into the hallway yelling, "it work, it worked, he did it"...I just had to share the joy with anyone within ear shot. Teaching kids with autism has taught me to appreciate the small accomplishments in life both the students accomplishments and my own.

Sorry- I got long winded. I just love reading what you write,it gets me excited to go back to school and work with my kiddo's.


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