Language barriers aren’t funny, Chris!
Yesterday’s evaluation had a….strange….for lack of a better term, turn of events. Jp was up and in a great mood-it seems a certain mommy gave him a protein bar for breakfast so he was ready and alert for the test-chattering endlessly the whole time in the car. I felt confident he was going to do well. And he did, mostly.
During the testing I was so proud of his labeling of things. He typically hates to sit down and read any books with me but he sat still like a champion, calmly pointing out cookies, balloons, and cows (well, that one was a horse but points for knowing it was an animal). He only missed a few, really. One was my admitting that I think some of his phrases sound “rehearsed” or parroted. It could be typical, I don’t know, but as I have mentioned before in my ramblings I am not sure he can break down the phrase and use the words individually. Though even that didn’t stop us from passing! Dana tells me he received a 97 on Expressive. “Out of a hundred?!”, I inquire. “No, out of 150 but it is age appropriate. He has caught up!” she responded.
I realize I have been holding my breath for twenty minutes. I can breathe again.
At this point I am dancing in my chair. Literally. Once you have cried in someone’s office (the day my world stood still), there is just no longer a need to have pretense between you. I was ecstatic. Elated. Jubilant, even. Then it was time for Receptive. Which was just a formality since he had never had a problem with that portion. His original score, many months ago, was good for his age.
The test begins. I start to feel nervous. He is not responding well. “Pick up the blocks and put them on the box.” He starts stacking them. “My bear is hungry, will you feed him?” He picks up the spoon and starts running in circles around her. “Oh, my bear is thirsty. Can you give him a drink from the cup?” He goes to the door and dances.
At this point she gives me a look. I know her looks well, this is not good.
She begins, “Well, I am going to do us all a favor and call this a ‘mistest’ for his sake. At this point we are heading towards a disorder. These tests are very long and difficult for toddlers to pay attention all of the way through so I think maybe we should try again next Wednesday when he is fresh.” Inside I am dying. Though I appreciated the mistest for inattention’s sake, I knew some of the things she was asking him to do he didn’t understand. I could see it on his face. I had seen that look many a time. Typically, when I asked him to do something. Does he not understand? I always think he is willful, stubborn, or inattentive but could it be that he doesn’t understand what I am saying? I have always assumed that since he scored so well on his initial receptive language test and that he was picking up language-albeit slowly-that he understood me. But does he, really?
At this point Dana is telling me that everything is fine, she is sure that he just is tired and is used to coming and playing and is frustrated that today has been a different type of day in therapy. He is used to coming and playing with toys and having fun and maybe we just put too much on his plate for one session. This woman is a saint, I don’t know how I would have gotten through any of this without her. She has this unwaveringly positive attitude that makes not only me love her and Jp love her but she is just a perfect person to work with children (and neurotic, google obsessed mothers).
Then she tells me, with no hint of subtly, not to “prep” him for the test. I have seen most of it so I suppose I could but I assured her that I wouldn’t since if he does have a delay in that area I wouldn’t be doing him any favors coaching him for the test and having us ending up back there in another 6 months. Inside, I am laughing, because I had thought about it. Just for a split second.
So we go back Wednesday. I am praying for a miracle. And trying not to coach him. It’s much harder than it sounds. I want him to do well so badly that it hurts. But not to the point where I am willing to put Jp in a position to fall behind. Though I am getting ahead of myself…we will just have to wait and see Wednesday.
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.