Thursday, September 18, 2008

One Year Eval

This is one of those posts that will be dull for those of you with neuro-typical children. I do know, however, that I like to read the details about other kids with brain injury, so I wanted to be sure to include it here. Feel free to skip if it's not your thing.

Today we had the results of Charlie's one year evaluation. There weren't any big surprises. He qualifies for services, but he would qualify regardless because of his diagnoses. We have enough diagnoses to qualify about four kids actually.

Many of you already know this, but for evaluations someone comes to your home, does some tests on your child, but also asks you a lot of questions about the types of things that they don't or can't see in an hour's time. The report was, for the most part, kind of boring. There wasn't anything in there that I don't know.

Basically, he's behind in almost everything. For receptive communication, gross motor, fine motor, and cognition he was evaluated as severely behind. For receptive communication he's moderately behind. For social/emotional and adaptive he's on the low end of average. Did you hear that? My child actually came in as "average" in two areas.

The only thing I didn't like to hear is that his cognitive is severely behind. The evaluator explained, however, that cognition in a small child is often measured by visual attentiveness, and that's why Charlie scored so low. Besides, I don't know if Charlie is a rocket scientist, but he "gets" stuff--sometimes more than I realize--and that's all I'm worried about right now. There's a real interesting difference between motor skills and learning. When you're born, your brain has already been wired with regards to what parts of the brain control what parts of the body. The storage of information, however, is more fluid. There are more options. I'm working hard on getting the information into Charlie's brain and I feel that he understands more than his body allows him to reveal.

I made the difficult decision to try a new speech therapist. I LIKE the woman who sees Charlie now, but he isn't responding to her very well. Also, I do get the impression that she doesn't expect a whole lot from him. One of Charlie's other therapists has recruited a woman who's really into adaptive communication, so hopefully she can help me with things like signing and choice cards. I do hate the idea of "firing" someone, though--especially someone that I think is a nice person--maybe just not a good fit for my child.

Other than that, it's the same ole' same ole.' Charlie is behind, but he's progressing. He's happy, well-fed, and cared for. The older he gets the more I enjoy his company. These aren't the things that go on the evaluation, but they are the things that matter to me.