We had the Roc’s fall conference, 4-year eval, and IEP meeting yesterday and my head is still buzzing with all the information we were given. Some of it disheartening, some of it good, and many things I already knew to be true about the Roc.
His awesome preschool teacher let me know he’s doing well transitioning to the afternoon class and is working on being more independent. He still has trouble asking for help and needs prompting to work on and finish things he doesn’t like to do and/or are hard for him. Fine motor and expressive language tasks are especially difficult for the Roc. He is showing a lot more interest in other children this year and has continued to make eye contact and smile a lot when other children interact with him. He doesn’t yet respond other than to repeat what they are saying or do a “running commentary” on what they are doing. They are working a lot on teaching him how to interject himself and respond appropriately. Progress is always good.
The school psychologist broke my heart a little when she went over the IQ testing she did on the Roc. He didn’t score very well. He was in the average category for one part and the others were in the low category pulling his total score down. So hard to hear. But at the same time I wonder how in the world can you test the IQ of a 4 year old? Especially a child like mine who will not “perform” if he doesn’t want too and will choose not to answer and participate. AND has such a hard time with expressive language. So, while disheartening to hear, that label doesn’t jive with me.
Especially when we went over the school speech eval that scored him at the very bottom of the normal (gosh, I hate that word!) range. I knew that was possible because I watched him during a speech eval at the children’s hospital in the spring. He immediately liked the therapist and totally performed for her (and was a charming flirt!), thus scoring at the bottom of normal (which prompted our insurance to deny extra services, argh!). So, apparently he really likes his school speech therapist and again “performed” for her. Luckily, she was able to show that pragmatically he does need help so they will continue speech services. The blood drained out of my face when she first showed me the score and said that by the number he didn’t qualify!
He almost didn’t qualify for OT services too! Which is totally crazy. The evaluation only has two questions about grasping technique. So again he scored just below normal range. Um, Hello?!! The kid definitely needs fine motor help and luckily they will be continuing that service as well. He is also going to be evaluated for some additional PT services.
We signed off on paper work for him to be evaluated by the district’s “autism team” and if he meets their criteria then he will have an educational diagnosis of autism (to go along with his medical one-I still don’t understand how that isn’t good enough for them). Right now the school has labeled him as developmentally delayed which will last until he turns 5 in the summer. I can’t see how they won’t find him to have an educational diagnosis of autism but stranger things have happened.
I’m going to be observing the 2 different types of inclusion kindergarten’s in our district this winter and we will decide placement for him in the spring. I’m still VERY worried about the Roc starting kindergarten so soon after he turns 5. I’m curious to observe the classrooms and maybe that will put my mind more at ease. I just wish his awesome preschool teacher could move on with him and be his kindergarten teacher!
So, it was a looooonnnggg 2.5 hour meeting and we left feeling a bit flat. Definitely not the kind of conference I envisioned four years ago while I cuddled my infant. At the same time I know how lucky we are. As GC’s Aunt Sandy stated in an email to me “The Roc is a gift.” I agree. We are lucky.