Another Day, Another Evaluation


October 5, 2011 by Marj Hatzell

So. Y’all remember 42, right? Yeah. That was Bugaboo’s eval. Bug Boy just finished his  and I sat down with the school psychologist today to go over his results.

It isn’t 42. Far from it. Basically, the kid is smarter than my husband and I put together. So why is my head spinning from the meeting? Why did I have trouble falling asleep to take a nap even though Bugaboo has been up the past few nights and I was running on three hours of sleep?  Well, the results also show deficits, see.

Like in reading comprehension. And expressive language. And certain types of reasoning. And it shows he’s prolly dyslexic (we knew that) and hyperlexic (we knew that, too).  OH!  And the big news?  HE’S STILL AUTISTIC. (Funny, I’m pretty sure that’s common knowledge).

And this is why it blows my mind that people say things like, “Oh. Autism? I had no idea!” The proof is in the pudding, yo.

Yes. He’s high-functioning. He’s super brainy. He is an enthusiastic learner (when it is interesting to him). He does nothing but read, read, read (which is a good problem to have, really). He is a math whiz. He loves science and technology.

Basically, he’s a nerd like his father and myself.

So what’s the big deal? Why is this tough for me to wrap my brain around? Well, it’s so freaking frustrating having children that are so blasted smart but have such awful deficits in areas that come naturally to other children. It sucks having a kid that knows the answer and raises his hand (after three years of coaching to raise his hand instead of blurting out answers) and by the time the teacher calls on him he knows the answer but can’t say it because he has processing issues and expressive language issues and then gets flustered and embarrassed and next time is hesitant to raise his hand.

It’s also frustrating that no matter how hard he tries, he sucks at writing mechanics. He can TELL stories. He knows the grammar rules. He knows the answers. He can type very well for a ten-year-old.  But writing with a pen? His penmanship is about a five-year-olds. He barely signs his name. And somewhere the process breaks down and when he has to WRITE something, like actually write it with his hands? Can’t do it.

I know, I know. Evals are just evals and they don’t give a perfect picture. There were no surprises here. I mean, I ASKED them to check these things. I wanted more information. They got more information. It was the information I expected. He doesn’t test well, he is anxious and distracted, he chatters and doesn’t shut up (funny for a kid with an EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE DELAY). I am not surprised by this.

But in some small way, I kinda hoped I’d walk in there and they’d be all, “He’s great! Top of the class! No more therapy needed!  He’ll never struggle again!”  But that didn’t happen. Basically, this meeting affirmed that he’ll need support next year in middle school, he’ll still need an aide, he is probably going to SUCK at learning a foreign language and he’ll barely pass writing and composition. Le Sigh.

But he’ll still be a science nerd. He’ll still love math and technology, just like his parents. He’ll still be enthusiastic and love to read everything he can get his hands on (EVERYTHING. This kid reads instructions, even. WHAT MAN DOES THAT?). And he’ll still love music and singing and his violin. He’ll still be in chess club and robotics club. And he’ll do ok, really. We’ll still be super proud of our super awesome kid.

But I just wish sometimes my kids could do ONE THING without having to struggle. Without having to work harder than everyone else just to learn half of what the other kids are learning.Just doesn’t seem fair.

But? My kids don’t give up. Nope. They’re just like their Momma and Daddy. They kick arse and take names. They make sure everyone knows who they are (even if it is because we have to call the police on a regular basis. Ahem.). And they work HARD for what they have.

But. One beacon of light? The past two years this boys scored perfect scores in his state standardized testing. Which made him in the top three IN THE WHOLE SCHOOL. Like, third and fourth grade he did better than fifth graders, even. Go figure.

Now. If we could just get him to write down homework and stuff? I’d be golden.

4 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Evaluation

  1. Cheryl says:

    I ❤ nerds! This post made me happy–thanks!

  2. I ❤ Nerds too.
    Can you skip the stress about handwriting and move straight to a focus on typing? The real world uses way less handwriting than keyboarding now. I wish we'd pushed harder to have DS14 do all his class work by keyboard.

    • As a matter of fact, he has keyboarding/computer/alphasmart as an accommodation on his IEP so yes. We can do it.
      However, I did want him to AT LEAST be able to fill out a few things by hand. And they cannot type state testing.

  3. Janet says:

    Shouldn’t state testing allow the same accomodations as listed in an IEP? If he can’t type then all the kids who wear glasses can’t wear them (this is an accomodation isn’t it?!) Just my (snarky) opinion.

    I have a daughter who reads everything. One day when she was about 3rd grade she asked me what toxic shock syndrome was.

    I think I would adore your son.

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