Monday, October 27, 2008

The Gravity Of The Situation

I'm sitting here wondering if this is even appropriate for me to type...if by typing it I am sealing my child's fate or helping in forming others' permanent opinions of his abilities or outlook.
But I suppose this is the thing about publicly journaling one's thoughts; this struggle between needing to get things off your chest and also needing to guard your family's privacy.
So since I am an open book, here goes...

Today we met with the psychology and speech professionals to get the lowdown on their testing and observations of M. As I mentioned previously, they do not think the current learning environment is appropriate for him. But the part that stung just a little (or was it that I hoped I'd feel the sting more?) was that the speech therapist's evaluation showed his expressive and receptive communication levels to be at about a 12 month old's level, and the psychologist found his cognitive skills to be at about a 9 month old's level. Sigh...
Here's the caveat, and the thing that every single professional has always said about M: He is a perplexing case. He does not follow all the 'rules' of autism. I'm not saying that any child does since it is a spectrum, but he's really hard to test. Again, as with many kids on the spectrum, motivation and where his nervous (sensory) system is performing are a big deal for him. Without those things being just so, he will not give you the information you seek. But the trick is figuring out how to get those pieces 'just so.' A skill his own parents often don't understand. So both of these professionals agreed that while the tests put him on these levels, they were aware that he has skills that are more mature than these ages as well. They also noted that once we have placed him in a more appropriate environment with trained autism professionals that they would very much like to retest him in a couple of years.
This testing will be beneficial for us when approaching our school to get the appropriate services. M was testing in the 18-24 month range in most things back at the mother ship. So this helps lay more groundwork to show that we've had regression and need help.

I told these two women that I wasn't expecting them to look into their crystal balls and tell me the future, but I was curious to know whether they felt there was hope to repair the neurotransmitters that aren't working properly...and did they think M would catch up, at least a bit. They both definitely thought that there was hope for him given just how many words he has (hundreds) and his ability to memorize and echo. We just have to figure out how to turn those things into something meaningful for him.

It will still be a couple of weeks before I get the full written report from the specialists that I will then take to an IEP (individualized education plan) meeting. The waiting and constant protocol of all of this is frustrating to the other half and me. We know what the outcome should be, but getting there is going to take a lot of time, energy and likely money.

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

gwendomama said...

oh my fg.

you have a case against the school district - all you have to do is show regression.
should not be hard to find a lawyer now.