Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brennan's 12 Month Evaluation

A couple of months ago, Brennan had his 12 month evaluation from our Early Intervention provider. They are required to evaluate him every 12 months even though he automatically qualifies for services due to his diagnosis. During the evaluation they "test" him in various areas to see what he can and can not do. Truthfully, the assessment was somewhat uncomfortable for me. I've never had one of my kids asked over and over to do things they aren't yet able to do. And to do that to a baby seemed just wrong. At one point, they put a ball on his tray, put one cup upside down over the ball, then put another cup upside down on the tray. They moved the cups around and wanted Brennan to guess which cup had the ball under it. At 12 months, I knew this was way beyond his comprehension. It felt a bit like asking my 6 year old to do calculus. The thought that he will be tested in this manner on a regular basis is somewhat unsettling to me. But, it seems there's no way around it. Having done it from such a young age, maybe Brennan won't think much of it (a girl can hope, right?).

Anyway, back to the results. If a child scores 77 or below on any of the areas, they will be eligible for services. Brennan's scores were as follow:
Adaptive - 75
Personal/Social - 90
Communication - 69
Motor - 66
Cognitive - 106

While Brennan's EI coordinator was discussing the results with me, she would give me this sad look when discussing the areas where he scored below 77 and would give me a quick smile with the ones where he scored above 77. Honestly, I didn't have feelings of happiness or sadness with his results. He's happy and he's making his own pace. Whether he scores a 15 or 115, I know he's doing his best and I am so proud of him.


Denise said...

Good for you!! I don't like the comparing either. I didn't get nearly that comprehensive of testing or scoring for Ella but they did ask me a million and one questions about her communication etc. and sometimes I didn't even know how to answer. I just feel that Ella will do what she will when the time is right and we will just help her along best we can. What state are you in again? I am feeling more and more like CA is just behind.

Jessica said...

sounds like you have a great attitude about it. This is one of my pet peeves with the evaluation. All the really need to tell a parent is that the child qualifies for services. We work with the mindset all year that Caden is doing the best he can, he's where he should be, and don't compare to other children. Until the evaluations roll around and they throw those numbers at you. In my case, not only did they give me those percentages but also the age equiivalent. It made it difficult for me to run into younger children that I KNEW were more advanced than mine because they put it in writing. Wouldn't it be better to really be individualized and focus on where the child was performing, where they are now, and what the annual goals are without all the comparisons that are frankly not helpful to anyone but the EI team to assess eligibility. ARGH! Anyway, well done that you've already handled it so well early on!

Monica Crumley said...

Maybe the EI person was uncomfortable with the whole process too and trying to be sensitive. I think you have a great attitude and one that the EI people could learn from. PS: There's a blog award for you on my blog :-)

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Silly testers! It's nothing but a number game for them. Whatever they need to do though to keep the services coming. We'll play their game, right?

I can't wait to meet Brennan!!!!!

Ria said...

Keep up that wonderful attitude you have! Your EI person probably didn't know quite how to act when discussing results, similar to some doctors who seem insensitive when delivering a DS diagnosis. However, being an EI, I would think they know better than to look "sad" with 'imperfect scores'. In any case, you did well by not letting that bother you.
That's interesting how your evaluation is so structured and comprehensive. I'm in MO and at Matthew's 12-month eval, all his therapists and our EI coordinator sat in our living room discussing what he had accomplished already and what goals we should be working toward next.

Shauna said...

That ball business feels like a very mean trick and I don't like it one bit!