Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Educational Evaluation

    I decided it was time to make a few phone calls in order to arrange an educational evaluation for Mikey. While we were still in the midst of determining exactly what our situation was, it was clear that in order to help him, we should have him evaluated so that he would receive the proper services. Our pediatrician had given us a few phone numbers, and I called to get everything organized.
   The agency I spoke with explained to me that a lady would come to our home, meet with us , and play with Mikey for awhile. Based on her findings, we would set up a schedule to receive whatever services she deemed necessary for Mikey. I figured we would probably be looking at a few hours of speech a week.
    The day of the visit, the lady arrived, and she was nice but not overly friendly. Again , we answered a bunch of questions, and she proceeded to play with Mikey. When she placed certain toys in front of him, he would show a fair amount of interest, but he was much more interested in whatever else she had in her bag.
I figured this is just a toddler being a toddler.....she thought differently. In all fairness, I did witness Mikey climbing over her in an attempt to find whatever it was he was looking for, and he had no intentions of stopping until she let him look into her bag. This, as I was told, was not "typical" behavior.
    She stayed with us for awhile, finished up the evaluation, and told me she would call me in a few days with the results. When she did call, she explained that based on her visit with us, it had been determined that Mikey would need "intensive" therapy....at least 25 hours per week.She had conducted some type of test with him and on a scale of 1-60, he was a 30-31. This meant he fell right smack in the middle,in the "mildly autistic" range. She suggested a variety of different preschools for children with special needs, and left me with her phone number in case I had any further questions.
   After I had hung up the phone, I remember calling Mike to tell him."This one is crazy if she thinks I am sending my son to some school for 25 hours a week for intensive therapy!" All I could think was here is another "expert" giving me her  opinion of my son after a 1/2 hour visit. Clearly , this was all getting to me, and clearly , I was not yet ready to accept it all. I am , by nature, very protective of my children, as most parents probably are. I had a hard enough time sending Chris to pre-school when he turned four. Fortunately, his pre-school was right on our corner,so I knew he was right down the block. I  didn't like the idea of sending my almost three year old anywhere on a bus far away from home. In my mind, that just was not an option. I was more than willing to get the help he needed ,but I wanted to have the teachers come to us.Mike and I both decided that this would be the best way to do things...this way, I would be able to watch how the teachers worked with him, and monitor his progress.I would call the next week to make all of the arrangements.
    About a week or two after the educational evaluator had visited my house, I was in a party supply store with Chris and Mikey. I remember waiting on the check-out line and looking to my left only to see the educational evaluator and her daughter. Our eyes only met for a moment or two, but I could see the sympathy in her eyes as she looked at us. It bothered me greatly. I did not want or need any sympathy from her or anyone else. I did not like this lady, but was it because I didn't find her friendly, or because she told me the truth?
 


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