Fall Conference, 4-year Eval, IEP….

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.

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5 thoughts on “Fall Conference, 4-year Eval, IEP….

  1. Hi Thanks for commenting on my blog today.

    After just reading this post, I feel Chee and the Roc are quite a bit similar. We are moving on with Kindie next year too. If you go a few weeks back on my blog I talk about our decision.

    I look forward to reading more of your blog. 🙂

  2. The thing that rang true for me was the IQ testing. Where we were in pre-K, they did full evals before K, which included IQ testing. Despite everyone agreeing that C was very bright and perhaps even gifted, he tested at a 76. No one could believe it. Even the tester said there were things she knew that he knew, but since he couldn’t respond in the proper, acceptable way for the standardized test, she couldn’t give him the points. We haven’t repeated, but everyone that looks at that score just tosses it out because it’s clearly so incorrect. And one of the biggest reasons, everyone says, is because it was done at 4. It’s very difficult to get an accurate reading at that age, apparently.

    And the medical vs. educational, I’m guessing, is to show that his autism influences his education. That one gets tricky with schools and IDEA because some will say the medical diagnosis doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect their schooling. It can get frustrating! It sounds like you are on top of everything, though.

    It sounds like a very informative meeting, if nothing else. I hope you get some good feelings about the K classes when you go visit!

  3. I know those meetings can be such a whirlwind of emotions, but you are an awesome mom — that comes through your blog entries loud and clear — and you know your son the best. Tests are subjective, highly dependent on how the child is doing that day or the environment. You know what your son needs, and it’s a long journey, and one on which you’ll prevail. My ds was dx’d almost four years ago, our “A” day, though it doesn’t feel like four years until I see it in writing; there are still times I feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach again. But, you keep going to meetings, you keep getting everything you can for your child, and you keep loving him just as you are. 🙂

  4. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Did you know that motor skills affect IQ testing? If your child has ANY motor deficits, it will bring his scores down. We took our oldest son to a neuro-psych to get some follow-up info for the school about how his brain works now (post-massive tumor removal) and the neuro was not at all pleased to hear that the school had performed only an IQ test, knowing that IQ is only one tiny factor, and that those particular tests can be very inaccurate.

    The “to K or not to K” question is a tough one – we went for it with Foster this year (at age 5) because he needs that full-day structure. He has a full-time one-on-one aide to help him, and he’s doing great in the mainstream classroom. In our district, Kindergarten is very much geared toward introducing the kids to the concept of school. I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

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