Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I didn't need to know.

In answer to my own question,"Do I need to know?", when it came right down to it I decided that no, I don't.

After Dylan's evaluation was completed, his Early Intervention Team tallied up his scores, wrote them all down, and looked up at me. They asked me, "Do you want to know?". I said that no, I didn't. I fumbled and felt like I should somehow defend myself, but what I said and what I truly feel is that quite simply, it does not feel right to me. Whatever the reason(s) may be, it does not feel right. Maybe I am scared to know, maybe I'm in denial or maybe it's just the simple fact that comparing Dylan to children without Down syndrome does not make sense to me. Quite frankly, comparing Dylan to anyone other than Dylan does not make sense to me. So again, I said no thank you.

I was told again that once Dylan enters public school, I will not have a choice. That I will be told the scores and they will not "sugar coat them either". Whether or not that is true I honestly do not know, but whatever the case may be, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

Since the evaluation, I have met with Dylan's Physical Therapist to come up with new goals for the next 6 months. He had met most of his previous goals, which is really nice to see. We love progress!!

As I've said before, Dylan is happy, healthy, motivated, curious, and observant. He is friendly and outgoing. He is loving. He is smart and he is loved. He is learning.

I don't need scores to know that...

12 comments:

Karly said...

I feel the same, Laurie. I wish they would focus on the progress of each child, rather than emphasizing delays and shortcomings. It's such a negative, counter-productive viewpoint. It reminds me why I don't miss EI at all. Our private preschool is very much focused on helping my kid progress and appreciating her accomplishments/successes. The EI was always so bleak. (Just speaking in our particular case, of course. I have heard of great EI programs).

Cathy said...

Unfortunately, here in Illinois, the scores are an indicator to the state that their program is working. I know that's a bunch of silliness, but that's the way it is. The numbers have to go into the report. Of course, I don't have to read the report...but I did. Honestly, it doesn't hurt nearly as much as it did last year. Still sucks though...Lily's made a LOT of progress and I'm so proud of her regardless of what a piece of paper says.

And on a funny note...

When I was reading one of the therapists reports, it said that Lily was a very social little girl.

On another therapists report it said that Lily would benefit for a toddler class because her social skills didn't seem to be developing.

WTH???? Two totally contradictory statements all stapled together neatly in one big report. LOL...who cares...she's social...sometimes too social!!

Dylan's lucky to have you!!

ch said...

And, speaking as a public school teacher, scores of my students (typical or not) RARELY painted an accurate picture of the children I had in my classroom. I was, of course, required to read, record and report the scores but frequently considered them a measure of how they responded to a particular style of test on a particular kind of day. My daily observations and interactions with my students were what informed by instruction. NOT the random test scores collected on an annual basis.
You're doing a lovely job informing the goal setting process for Dylan as well as his progression in reaching them. If anything, I think you'll ultimately have a higher standard for his performance than institutions like public education will expect from him.
Until they're willing to consider scores for cuteness, charisma, and family support in their equations for predicted levels of success, we'll just let 'em keep their numbers to themselves. :0)

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

so happy to hear that dylan has met almost all of his 6 month goals and new ones need to be set - you don't need scores to tell you that accomplishing goals is awesome - way to go dylan :)

The Sanchez Family said...

You're awesome! Love you!

Christi Harrison said...

it's amazing how jimmy and dylan are going through life at the same time. jimmy's been evaluated all week and we meet in two weeks to hear about all his progress. i don't want to know the numbers either. i just want to know what he's accomplished. way to go dylan. i'm sure he is doing superb!

Kelly said...

AWESOME!!

Melissa M said...

Nope, the scores don't tell you the really important things!

Amanda said...

Good for you!

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site dayswithdylan-laurie.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

Amy and Aaron said...

Laurie,

I love this post, and I love your attitude about the whole thing. We have decided that public schools, for many reasons, are NOT going to be the best place for our Matthew, and I just told his EI team that once he turns 3 *gulp*, which is only a month away, that we are done. That's right - done. We've made the commitment to home school, we are not sending him to the EI preschool (where they would completely ignore his sign language, not acknowledging it or continuing to teach it because they have a different "curriculum"). If we feel that he would benefit from therapies, we will pursue private options. You DO have other options, besides public school, when that time comes! Meanwhile, yeah for baby steps of pulling up to a stand and working toward walking!! Hooray! He'll get there at just the right time for him. :-)

Lisa said...

Laurie, you are right on. Your instincts are exactly what you should be following as you watch Dylan for signals about what is of emerging importance to him.

It isn't ever right to reduce a person to a number, a set of statistics, or a list of delays. I hope educators and therapists can see that and keep it top of mind when they peform evaluations and asessments and give reports to parents and others.

Our girls are both in the public schools preschool program, and I have been very pleased with the balanced approach of encouraging their healthy development while also celebrating their strengths and successes.

"Need" or "Delay" has to be shown to exsist for the schools to provide services. I asked for just the broad strokes (I know where my girls are developmentally), which the team respected. We spent most of the IEP meeting talking about what the girls are each doing right now, and where they are headed (and how to best help them get there).

All in all, we've had a very good experience. I hope you're in the same boat when the time comes :)!