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Archive for the ‘evaluations’ Category

Yes, it’s been a long while since I’ve posted. Honestly, I’ve just got so much …. stuff…. going thru my head that I don’t even know which way is up sometimes. Between IEP’s and IEE’s and speech therapy for Landon and trying to find a job….well, ready to pull my hair would be putting it lightly.

The IEE (independent educational evaluation) is done. The dr was fantastic, did a very thorough job and was right on the money about Trace. Aspergers is confirmed, ADD/ADHD combined type, dysgraphia and dyscalculia…everything that we already knew, plus a couple of new ones (dysgraphia and dyscalculia).

The scores on the tests done by the district as compared to the dr’s scores….extreme differences. On the Woodcock Johnson III, from the dr’s evaluations: on the Written Expression, Writing Fluency and Writing Samples, he scored as well as 1% of his peers. 1% !?! Math Fluency was less than 4%. Broad Written Language less than 6%. Including the ones I just listed, he scored under 50% on *11* of the tests….only 5 tests scored above 50%. On these percentile scores, 50% is pretty much average…anything below 50%, less than average, anything above 50%, above average. With the school’s evaluation, the count was exactly the opposite… 5 tests were below 50%, 11 above…go figure. On the Wechsler Intelligence Scale there were such drastic differences that I wondered if they’d even tested the same child!!! His full scale IQ had a 23 point difference….that’s huge. Also, something that I didn’t know at the time but was later noted and confirmed by several people (including our family psychologist who’s been in practice 40+ years) …when the school did the WISC with Trace….on 9 of the subtests administered, he scored exactly the same score….exactly the same. Our family psychologist said that in all his years of practice, he’s never seen that happen on one child’s test. Again, the differences between what the school scored and what the IEE psychologist found, drastic differences. Just as an example….. on the Comprehension subtest, the school scored him at 75%, the IEE found him at 9% – from above average to doing no better than 9% of his peers?!? Another drastic example, on the Letter Number Sequencing subtest…school scored (another) 75%, while the IEE found him to be at 0.4%.

Anyhow, we had our IEP meeting last Thursday. 2 hrs it lasted and….for the most part, it was a complete waste of time. The school part of team, when I brought up his low % scores on the IEE, says “oh, he was probably just having a bad day.” or “You know, his testing was done after school, when his medication had worn off. He was probably fatigued.” I can understand that he could be a bit tired after school….however, that being said, several things immediately come to mind- 1) the IEE psychologist would NOT have continued testing if she didn’t think he’d been up to it. She would have rescheduled. and 2) even if he *was* fatigued, the differences in the scores would NOT have been that drastic, a few % points, sure……the ones that I put up above…not even maybe.

On the plus side, he will continue with 60 minutes of speech therapy per week, and 30 minutes of occupational therapy per week (plus in the regular ed classroom guidance and redirection assistance). On the negative side….really nothing else was addressed, or was brushed off if I brought it up.

Why does this have to be so difficult? Why do we parents have to fight so damned hard for something that shouldn’t have to be fought for at all? And, what about the parents that don’t have the resources that we’ve been blessed enough to have? A wonderful family psychologist, an awesome mentor/advocate, supportive family….all this, and we’re still having issues. Parents that don’t have any of that, what chance do their kids have if the schools try to shirk their jobs?

I’m too tired and too stressed to even try typing anymore tonight….I can’t wrap my brain around even 1/4 of this stuff, much less 100% of it which is what my boy needs from me.

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Once again, life has been happening at breakneck speed and blogging fell to the wayside. Time to catch up.

To start, one teeny-tiny little tidbit I forgot to mention when I last posted… I lost my job. Well, technically…*I* didn’t lose it, it lost me. They eliminated my position…I went in to work one morning, just a normal workday morning and 45 minutes later, my desk was packed and I was walked to my car. I felt like I’d done something wrong, something criminal the way I was escorted out and I was watched over while packing up my desk. I understand the reasoning behind it, but that doesn’t change how it makes you feel. So. There, that’s out. I’ve been looking for something new, but like millions of others in this nation of ours, it just isn’t happening. I’m either not qualified enough, or I’m over-qualified. That last one is a crock but, there’s not anything I can do about it.

Yesterday, we discovered that Randy’s work van had been broken into. That’s the 2nd time in the last 6 months….we don’t live in a “bad” neighborhood by any means…it’s a decent, middle income place. However, a few streets over are low income duplexes, full of punk ass teens who apparently needed a quick drug fix. Or something. Randy was off for 5 days over the holiday and using some PTO time so he hadn’t been in his van since last Wednesday night. He went out yesterday afternoon so he could repair something and discovered-and this is good, very inventive- that the punks had cut the rubber around the drivers side small wing window and taken the whole damn wing window out. Matter of fact, they took the fricking window itself…along with the new GPS unit (which was hidden in the glove box), a small heater, a “back up” camera and the LCD screen that went with it (so the guys can watch what they’re backing up to and not run into buildings) and some various tools. The thing is…this was no quicky, smash ‘n grab job like last time. Like I said, they actually took the window out as opposed to smashing it, they had to unscrew the backup camera from the back top of the truck (above the tommy lift) and dismantle the LCD screen to make sure they didn’t damage it. And, it had to of been done in broad daylight. We put up a bright ass motion sensor security light after the first time his van was broken into-it’s right outside our bedroom window and wakes us up if it comes on, also visible from the living room (thru the backdoor that goes onto the deck). So, that leaves daytime….again. Just like the first time. There were actually prints on the window this time so they dusted the window and the doors, above the tommy lift etc….not expecting anything to come from it though. AND, because this has happened twice…the guys are not allowed to drive the work vans home anymore, for any reason. We live approximately an hour away from his workplace (therefore, the vans) so if he’s on call, he has to drive all the way to the depot and get a van, then go wherever the call is….in the mornings, even if the first call is 10 minutes from the house, still he’s got to go get a van and backtrack.

Not to mention what this is going to cost in gas money now. Admittedly, we’ve been spoiled in that we’ve only had to worry about gas for my car for the last 2 years. However, after figuring it out today….the amount he’ll be putting in his gas tank every month will be equivalent to what we were paying in child care when I was working. I can’t figure that we’ll be able to afford both….so, unless I get an evening job (which would still be difficult as he’s on call every other week) there’s no way we can think of at the moment where we’d be able to afford child care AND his gas costs…so, perhaps I’ll be staying home indefinitely? I don’t know….Any ideas anyone?

I could always go back to school. For the unemployed there is grant money set aside that can be used while you’re drawing unemployment. I know that alot of jobs that I am qualified to to do (without a degree) are now requiring a bachelors degree or something of that nature. Maybe I should go to school, get a degree so I can be “officially” qualified for the jobs that are out there? Hell, I don’t know… Any thoughts on that??

AND….because things just aren’t varied and busy enough…we requested and got permission for an independent educational evaluation at public expense for Trace. The district didn’t much like it but, then, I didn’t much care for the fact that they are wanting to discontinue his OT services and not address his adaptive behaviors at all. We had our initial assessment appt last night…two hours long, mostly us and the dr talking and then all of us plus Trace towards the end. We all, including Trace, really like Dr. O….she’s a really nice lady. Seems to be very thorough in her work and comes highly recommended. For the next 4-5 weeks, 2 hrs a week will be spent testing and evaluating Trace in all areas related to his disabilities. I think that we are going to be very pleased with her results, but I’m thinking the school won’t be so much. Which is a sad testimony to how far off track our schools have gotten. I know it’s not necessarily the schools, or the teachers (altho, in our case I’m not so certain about that)…but it’s the laws. State laws, and district procedures….they are supposed to follow IDEA 2004 guidelines, the state laws are supposed to ensure that, and the districts are supposed to implement it. But, who’s watching to make sure it’s done right? No one. There’s no checks ‘n balances …at least not in Missouri. Advisory panels aren’t compiled of the people they are supposed to be, parents are shot down all the time if they speak up at meetings…”that’s not the way we do things” ….Um, if federal law states it is the way you’re supposed to do things, then you’d damn well better be doing it. It’s absolutely ridiculous the way that schools and districts find loopholes to get away with things, or just blatantly ignore things. It’s an absolute shame. I thought that the schools are there to teach the children. Period. That the education comes first. Why is that not happening? When, and why, did it become about not wanting to be bothered with more paperwork, or more work in and of itself? About not putting the child’s needs first? I know that it’s not just state laws that are inefficient, but at the federal level too….when are they going to make it about the kids again?

As parents, we need to put a stop to the intimidation that goes on at IEP meetings when the district side of the team wants things their way. We have to speak up and advocate for our kids…no one else is going to do it. We have to work at changing the laws, at holding the lawmakers accountable to do their dang jobs.

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