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.

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  1. Hi, I’m Linda, Jen’s (from Three’s Company) Mom. I love reading your blog and the progress Charlie is making. We have two granddaughters with DS and those evaluations can never measure the power of a mother’s love to motivate learning. We see it all the time in our family. Hang in there–you’re doing a great job. We’re pulling for you and praying for you.

  2. How funny that my mom commented right above me! From what I’ve read, Charlie is doing great and that is a big credit to you and your dedication to helping him reach his full potential. I hate it when people assume that just because Emmaline has Down syndrome, she won’t be capable of certain things. It has been proven that the more you work with any special needs child, the more they are going to be able to accomplish. I know that Emmy will accomplish anything she wants to with a little help from us. Keep up the good work with Charlie. He is doing so well and is such a gift!

  3. Not boring even for those with neuro-typical children!

    I am enjoying participating in the little steps of Charlie’s life so I am happy to get an update. I love watching my step-children learn. It is so amazing to go back and view the last 6 months or so and realize that Piero or Kylie learned this skill or that skill. Without that review you can’t see how far they have come and celebrate what they have learned rather than focus on what they haven’t accomplished.

  4. I don’t find these posts dull at all. I’ve been reading your site since before you were pregnant, and I check often to see if there is any more news about Charlie. I have a friend who doesn’t read blogs, but she frequently will ask me “How’s Charlie doing?” My mom also likes to hear updates!

  5. D also routinely tested behind cognitively. She doesn’t anymore. It is hard when they are physically behind. They just can’t DO what they need to do to show that they are cognitively near normal or normal, you know? He is doing great. He is fantastic.

  6. Nadine Hightower says:

    I think you both are progressing very well.

    I know it’s not easy but you are doing a fine job.
    Hang in there Girlfriend!!

  7. As you are saying, tests have limits because the way they are structured is just plain restrictive for people with certain problems. That said, I’m constantly amazed by Charlie and what he CAN do.

  8. I like the sound of the new speech therapist–adaptive communication sounds promising. How exciting would it be if Charlie started using signs! It’s not your fault if Charlie doesn’t gel with the nice lady. I’m sure if you explain it to her, it won’t really be like “firing her.”

  9. Princess Abigail says:

    Its lovely to hear all about Charlie and his news. Abigail has taught me many things since she’s been with us, but one of them is, that no matter what results I get on day X, she is still exactly the same adorable little girl as she was the day before and will be the day after. It doesn’t really make any difference.

    You’re right, speech therapy is as important and succesful as the therapist. I feel blessed that Abigail appears to love her Clementine and they look like they have bonded. You are a woman of heart, and I know you will be making the right choice in ‘firing’ therapist A for the Charlie-tailored therapist B.

    toodle pip
    The Bernard Bunch

  10. it can’t hurt to try something new as far as speech therapy goes–even if it means switching–and your old therapist should be able to understand that. you only want what’s going to work the very best for charlie. i wonder does he ever seem bothered by not being able to make his body do what his mind already understands?

  11. Ya know, I hate those evaluations. First of all when you’re having your child evaluated you already know that there is some issues there or otherwise you wouldn’t put yourself through the battery of questions of “Is he doing this?” NO “Is he doing that?” NO. I hate that part. Its like when they first walk in I want to say. Listen he isn’t doing what a typical 3 yr old does…so lets move pass that…what are you going to do to help?!?!? I don’t need them telling me everything I already know!!! Jeeze! I don’t look at what my son can’t do anymore but at what he can do…and how awesomely proud I am of him and how proud he is of himself! and that is all that matters…not what some stranger writes on their report!

    I nominated you for an award, come over to our blog and get it! 😉

  12. Rural Felicity says:

    Charlie is doing great!!! I love your comment on how you are enjoying his company. :) I also love the recent pics you posted. He is just so very cute!

  13. He’s a wonderful little guy, and has come a long way. Those evaluations can be tough because they don’t always measure the things that are most important. I love the latest pictures!