Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Today and Friday

Today my close friend told me her son has autism.
Today I made a play date with a classmate of Leo's, PDD-Boy, for Wednesday.
Today was Passover and Leo thought it was cool hearing about the parting of the Red Sea.
Today the kids played the piano for Grandma.
Today I repainted blackboards (the kind used with erasers) for preschool.
Today I marveled at the fact that I'm a preschool teacher. There's that planning thing again!

Friday was Parent Teacher Conferences. I was shocked to learn that Leo and his class took a standardized test for Reading called the Gates. I almost died when she pulled the booklet out of his folder. I first got angry, always my first response. I thought they started standardized testing in 3rd grade for gods sake!I started to sweat, and surmised the outcome quickly in my head. Leo didn't finish it on time, he got confused by the bubbles and such. No problem, we'll open up an IEP, he'll qualify for untimed testing, we'll practice test taking skills, and take a deap breath until 3rd grade metacognition.

None of what I predicted came true. But, Leo's teacher was a little concerned about his score - average, since his skill level, according to her, was far better. Nothing to worry about, yeah right. I wonder what this will mean for the future. Maybe spacial planning, organization, timing, or other executive functioning skills will become disabling? I'm ready if that's the case. I say bring it! She said it's his first test, and not to be concerned. She just noted that she was surprised. Okay then.

She also stated that some fine motor things are challenging for Leo. Example: they all made totem poles made of paper towel rolls and cut-out shapes that require a long thin slit to be cut. The cutting was a challenge and it took him a while to figure out the hole-poke-then-cut trick. Everything else, fine. Then she said: He is ready for 3rd grade. Say what?

Great handwriting, reading, and he has a large group of friends, one best friend, and most importantly he's very happy. He can even do geometry - copy a 3 dimensional shape onto paper. Every week he surprises me since I can link so much of the things he can do back to therapy goals. And this was a kid that couldn't copy a 2 block imitation. We worked so hard on that hand-over-hand for years (yogurt cups, crayons, matchboxes, anything he wanted).


Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you talk about discrimination on your site. A parent that I know experienced this from CARD. I was told by someone who lived in CT, who used CARD, that their child only received 15 hours per week mainly because this was a child that didn't magically make huge gains at a rapid pace as other children who are barely on the spectrum. It certainly seemed like they would rather give a child like yours the hours over a child like hers. You see, children like this other child, who have a difficult time with verbal and other skills, are discriminated against everyday by ABA providers who want the so called "success stories." I told her that the so called "success stories" are not always what they appear to be.

Ashley loves Leo said...

Hi Anon. Always good to hear from you. Sorry to hear about your friend and their experience.

For us, we had the opposite reaction from providers. They didn't want other parents to hear about our success because they would expect that outcome as well. As you well know, each child is so different. Sigh!

I think all our children are success stories, since each measure of success is different for each child and determined by themselves or their parents.

Ashley loves Leo said...

Any success should be celebrated rather than get shot down due to semantics.

Laura said...

Wow! That's great that Leo is ready for 3rd grade and did "average" on the test with no prep! The friends are even more impressive! I don't even want to think about bubble tests. Ackk!

mcewen said...

The triumphs keep coming - I'm so happy for you both [all].

Anonymous said...

Oh please, other parents would expect the same outcome so you and the provider kept it hidden? I have helped many parents and they could care less what yours or any other child's outcome is, they just want services for their child. Let's face it, people discriminate. I have had many parents tell me that if certain providers knew that there was a choice to deliver services to a child barely on the spectrum and their more severely affected child, they were at the bottom of the list.

You talk about discrimination....it's out there alright!!

AshleylovesKansasAnon said...

Hello Kansas Anon,
Hmm...I am afraid you've made some incorrect inferences into what I've written here. Where's the part where I say people don't discriminate against kids that aren't progressing as well? or are considered on a LF (for lack of a better reference) part of the spectrum? Where's the part that I say I hide our outcome to parents? I haven't participated in any decision making on the part of any provider.

I only wish...I'd then say what my writings have always said: All children deserve to get the support they require, no matter what the details are.

If only you'd follow your own advice and not infer the worst from me. To not discriminate against me.