The Daughter Chronicles

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mia's kindergarten evaluations; or, the older Mia gets, the angrier I become

Mia is 4½, and that means it's time to evaluate her for kindergarten next year. The cut-off date for being old enough (5) is 1 September, and she turns five on 30 August, so we're getting in just under the wire, which is good, because she can't go back to pre-school and we'd have to figure out what to do with her next year (this is hearsay, as a kid in the program doesn't turn five until October and his grandfather has to find something for him to do next year). As she moves to kindergarten, she needs to be evaluated. This is never a good time of the year, as we get to find out in stark relief how far behind she is.

A little over a week ago she got her hearing checked. Her hearing is one thing we don't worry about. It's fine, even though she had some issues with her left ear. I took her to the doctor to get it checked, and she said that there was nothing wrong with her ear - she may have some fluid in there, but nothing to worry about. So her hearing is fine, but, strangely enough, she has to be evaluated within two weeks of the hearing test. Nobody seems to know why. I haven't asked the school psychologist yet, but presumably she knows. So this past week and the upcoming week are when she's getting evaluated.

I'm not sure if her school physical therapist or occupational therapist have checked her out yet, but her speech therapist gave her a test this past week. She did some good things, like saying "hairs" when shown a brush, which is a "good" error, according to her home speech therapist. For "normal" kids, the score range is 85-115. Mia got a 50. She is speaking, apparently, at a 2-year-old level, although her home therapist says her receptive language is probably at a 3-year-old level. The problem with many of these tests is that they are very dependent on language, so we're hoping they look at other aspects of her personality. I know that as parents we're biased, but it's unfortunate that they are so language-oriented, because Mia is very good at communicating even though she doesn't use language very well. Oh well. That's why we are advocate parents!

We haven't had a meeting with the psychologist yet, but she has also completed her evaluation. We're not sure which program Mia will be put into, but we're probably going to put her in all-day kindergarten, because then she can be in a regular class for half the day and get therapy the other half. But that's still down the road a bit.

It's this kind of thing, when all her disabilities are laid out in black and white, that depresses us. And makes me mad, of course, because of the fact that she has to go through all of this. Little things make me mad as she gets older and I see what kids her age are doing and what Norah is able to do. I have mentioned before that she's on a laxative because she has problems pooping. Well, recently she's been pooping a lot, which is good, but it might actually be causing her some grief, and we have cut back the laxative until we see if it's going to continue without it. Little things like her not being able to tell us when she's going to poop bother the heck out of me. As she gets older, it becomes clearer and clearer how far behind she is, and I want more and more to find the guy who did this to her and punch him in the brain. Repeatedly.

But that's neither here nor there. We'll be meeting with her teachers and the psychologist in the coming weeks to find out where she will best make strides in kindergarten. The nicest thing about Mia is that she has been making steady progress in therapy for about a year, so even though she's behind, she's not staying in one place. And that's a good thing.

But I can still be angry occasionally.


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