Friday, May 17, 2013

More than a Number

I've been sitting on this post for a few days. Letting it marinade a little bit. Had to change it up a bit, but she's pretty enough to share now.

A few weeks ago, Diva Girl and Rascal had evaluations. Rascal gets a free eval as part of being a guinea pig for research (it's a study on siblings of children with autism, and it has been a wonderful experience!) For Diva Girl, the same team just flat out offered to do out of sheer curiosity, having never evaluated a child with Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. We figured it was worth it, seeing as she hadn't been evaluated in three years. Plus, her diagnosis is about to be absorbed into regular ol Autism, and we didn't want to be left with a diagnosis that doesn't exist- who knows what kind of issues could pop up because of that. 

So, I took her in. Watched her from my side of the two sided mirror. Saw her largely ignore her evaluators, except to try to force them to sit under the table with her. Laughed at how she was clearly running the show, refusing to cooperate but wanting to play HER way. Answered lots of questions about her development. 

I walked out feeling drained and dreading the results. I know that what I saw as funny and charming does not translate so well into a measure of her IQ. I know that her refusal to cooperate and talk means that her language scores would be horrible. But still, I did not expect what I saw in the report.

The report was brutal. Yes, they talk about how sweet and pleasant she is. Yes, they point out that the testing was probably not an accurate measurement of her capabilities. But when I saw the felt like a sucker punch to the gut.

Diva Girl is six years and three months old. She did not test higher than 17 months in anything.  In one of the tests (they use several different ones) she came out as below the first percentile in everything. That doesn't even seem possible. I mean, the girl is potty trained! She can spell over a hundred words! She is wicked smart! But that's not how these tests work, I know. They take that 2 hour snapshot and determine where she is lacking and then blow up those problems until they are all you can see.

Yes, I cried. My heart broke a little.

But I know the truth. She's more than a number. She's more than the words in a psychological report. She's my Diva Girl....with a big smile, a big heart, and a penchant for acting like a cat.

I can't help what the numbers say. And I can't stop people from looking at my little girl and only seeing her "faults". But I will do everything in my power to let her shine, so the world can see that she's so much more. And you'd better believe that during next weeks IEP meeting, if they try to act like those numbers are the entirety of her abilities, I will show them that they have another thing coming to them. Mostly, she will show them.

She'll blow them all away.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Keep on believing in your girl, because numbers are just that. Numbers.