October 27, 2010

URI Speech evaluation

Recently two friends referred me to URI for speech services.  I figured it couldn't hurt and I made the calls and set up an "evaluation".  Kiera has been in speech since she was 20 months, so about 7 years.  She had been with her speech therapist in the school system since 2005. 

At 9 years old, and after all the "problems" this school year with the school, I really felt like we needed a change. Unfortunately the evaluation wasn't what I expected.

In preparation, I answered questions from the grad students (speech) 5 times over the previous week for a total of an hour or so.  I also copied all of Kiera's records since 2005 to include speech evaluations, speech progress reports and speech summaries, psychological evaluations, cognitive evaluations, and even the neurological evaluations.

When I got there I answered another 45 minutes of questions, repeating some of the same answers.  I started to feel like maybe they were questioning home schooling and tried to tell myself , certainly that isn't the case.

I was able to view the last hour of the evaluation, which took two hours with NO breaks for Kiera other than 2 minute toy breaks, and only 2 in two hours.  IN fact they would tell her she could play toys, she would take them out and soon as they were out her time was up. 

It also was completely auditory, even though I told them she was 150% visual learner.  They had her sit and read her a story (no pictures at all).  The grad student read it fast and with no real fluency or intonation; basically monotone.  She read as if she was hurrying through the material.  I don't even think I comprehended what she was reading half the time.  She then was asked a question and had to point to a picture.  At one point she figured out the answer was on the other side of the flip chart so started trying to "see it".  Quite intelligent if you ask me.  They didn't take into account any "processing disorder", there was no time added in.  Everything was a "rush" through the material type affect.

At one point I was told they would want me to "show them" and bring in some of her work.  They kept asking about "school plans" and IEPs, even though i clearly explained we home school.

Next week is the follow up and I plan at this moment to attend, but I'm mixed on if I will.  I received a call today to schedule ANOTHER evaluation.  I stopped them and asked WHY we are doing another evaluation?  This is supposed to be speech therapy and after 2 hours solid with her they should know what she needs and a plan.  I was told the grad students thought of "another" test they can evaluate her with.
My gut is saying forget it.

I did call our CEDARR center today and asked if they knew of therapy.  They suggested perhaps in house.  I explained I want someone to come in, get a feel for where she is at and come up with a plan for speech therapy.  I should get a call back on Friday on this.  If they come up with a plan, I probably will drop URI.

Kiera did have frustration and some tears with the last evaluation.  She would say "I am all done" after the first hour and a half.  First, that was great that even though frustrated she could express in a clear sentence that.
I felt they ASSUMED a lot about autism, but didn't know a lot.  They kept saying "these kids" this or that.  Lumping them as a group, versus an individual child.  I hear that phrase a lot.  These kids do this or these kids do that.  Kiera is nothing like the rest of her "ASD" friends.  They aren't the same.  The are individuals with different weaknesses and different strengths.

Tomorrow I will be talking to her old private speech about what I / we have been going through.  She's willing to help out however she can.  I'm so stressed out that I'm not sleeping.  I'm on a fact finding mission now.

I just want someone to come in and do their "professional" job , not come in and have me teach them.  That shouldn't be too much to ask.  I'm solid on my home school choice.  I don't need any approval or permission.  I know she is progressing rapidly.   I don't want to be an ambassador for home schooling.  I don't want to waste any more time repeating myself.  Just come in and do the job you are hired for.  Don't worry about the rest.  Something I learned is "I" will be the one managing an adult child with Autism if I fail.  All these "professionals" won't be there.  I will.  You can bet  I'm making sure I do everything to get her to independence.

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