On the assumption that you all want to know all the dreary details of the assessment process Finn is going through this year to develop a new IEP (and because I need a place to dump it all), I give you:
Assessment 2013, Round 1
Today was the first phase of his Academic/Pre-Academic assessment. It didn’t go well, for a variety of reasons.
First of all, there was just too much going on to hold Finn’s attention. The assessment was held in a classroom/office where he had never been before, and was conducted by a person he doesn’t know from Adam. In the room were just all kinds of toys and activity centers – and of course, he wanted to check everything out. On his own terms. He was not happy with this woman, who I know from our past experience with her, tries very hard to maintain a sweet demeanor, directing his actions. So he was generally pretty uncooperative. I thought about leaving, but decided he might freak out if I did, so I stayed, but tried very hard to stay out of the way, in the background. Although at times I found it impossible not to offer input when she was trying to get him to do something and he refused to do it. (Scarlett was fussy, too, and at one point I had to whip out a boob to shush her, which is really fun in that kind of setting.) At times the assessor was close to losing her patience with Finn and her sweet facade wore a little thin. A few times she physically restrained him. She didn’t hurt him, and she wasn’t rough, but it was hard to see for me. At times he got mad and screamed. At times he threw things. This is not unheard of behavior when he is frustrated at home. But of course, no parent wants other people to witness this kind of thing.
After an hour, he finally just put his head down on the table and shut down. I told her that he was done. We have to go back next week for Round 2 of this particular assessment.
I feel disheartened because I know that he’s capable of more than what she got out of him today. I feel disheartened because these assessments are so fucking degrading to begin with. But I’m also not saying I have a better alternative in mind (except she did say that she wants to go to his preschool and observe him, which I do think will give her a truer picture of Finn because it’s a natural setting in which he’s comfortable). And I feel disheartened because the truth is, maybe this is how he responds in a structured setting where he is expected to follow directions and transition from one activity to another.