Friday, November 13, 2009

Byron's Big Test

The countdown to Byron' transition from Early Intervention to the School District begins.  Byron had a mandatory Psychological Evaluation today with a very nice woman named Leslie.  The results of this test will be paired with the recommendations of his current therapists to determine if Byron will still be classified as "Special Needs" and will continue to get services.  This is where many, if not most kids with Hemiplegia tend to excel.  Kids with Hemiplegia can do very well on cognitive tests, which are one of the main factors that determine whether a child can continue to receive services.

A word here about why services are important.  If Byron is declined for services he will no longer receive any Physical, Occupational or Speech therapy and will  be mainstreamed into school when he's five.  This means no special ed pre-school and all therapy will have to be private. Some parents choose to go this route, some for fear of the stigma in the school setting.  What I don't like about this is that there is no coordination of services and Byron would be left on his own in the classroom.  He would simply learn to compensate on his own.  He would manage but it's not ideal.

Byron aced the test.  "Normal" cognitive range is 80 to 115.  Byron got a 105.  At first in our discussion, as far as she was concerned, she could not recommend Byron for therapy in the school setting.  But then we began to talk about some of Byron's social challenges.  In Daycare he still does not interact fully with children. If they call his name or approach him he just stares blankly.  When I pick him up I always find him playing by himself.   I believe this has do to with a sense of over-stimulation that occurs in a room full of children.  He shuts down when there is too much noise and activity.  Also, when they hit him or take toys from him, which is normal possessive behavior at this age, he has little in the way of self-advocacy skills.  He shuts down further and isolates himself.  I watched this happen the other day on a slide.  A child pushed him out of the way to go down the slide first and Byron went down the slide and then left the room.

After hearing all this, the therapist said, on a social scale, Byron would rate a 29.   Typical for his age is 33.   (no idea what this scale means).  Finally she said based on this she would recommend placement - yeah!

Our final hurdle to Byron beginning pre-school on January 4th, is a meeting with all the therapists on December 2 along with the school administration.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  If he is admitted,  this will ensure at least 2-3 more years of therapy services as well as support from the administration to ensure that Byron is meeting his learning goals.  I feel this is so important for Byron.  By Kindergarten my strong sense is that he will be ready to embark on his school journey as any "typical" child.  I just think this little head start is all he needs.

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