Friday, May 13, 2011

"You Should Teach Parenting Classes"

William's behaviors are very similar to Lainy Ann's behaviors when she was 4 years old. Rather than waiting until he is in 3rd grade and coing to this emergent decision to get him evaluated, we decided to start with a baseline evaluation through the school district.

The evaluation process could not have gone better. Caskey was able to take the day off of work and be present at the meeting. He was a valuable addition to the interview process. We told the team about William's impulsive behaviors, tantrums and how he still puts things in his mouth. We talked about his love of deep pressure (we call them 'squishy hugs') and how he expresses his love and frustration through punching and rough housing. In addition he still has a minor stutter when easily excited.

William charmed the pants off of all the evaluators. He followed directions, flashed his smile and was polite. Eleanor was a hit as well. It was a pleasant process all around. The psychologist, speech pathologist and nurse said things like, "what a joy", "so smart", and "thank you for letting us meet him". Although we still had 2 weeks until the formal results were back I had a feeling what it would reveal.

In the interim the psychologist observed WIlliam at school to see how he interacted with his peers and behaved in the classroom. Reading the summary of the classroom observation was fascinating. It was great to have access to a 3rd party's perspective. In the evaluation she wrote about how William does well in school and with only minor redirection he is able to stay on task, that he prefers to stand while completing his work, and even though he gets distracted during circle time he is able to stay seated.

In all it was a positive evaluation. We were told that William is above average in almost all areas. In the one area (peer interaction) where he is below age level, he was still within the normal range. We were told to continue to challenge him and not let him slip through the crack because he is intelligent. We started talking about the other children and our family dynamic and parenting choices when one of the evaluators says, "You should really teach parenting classes." We were so taken aback. I don't think there is anything special about us as parents. We simply want each one of our children to be the best person they can be to their abilities. We have also sworn that each child should have the advantages and lifestyle they would have if they were from a smaller family. We never want to say that we can't do something because of our family size. So, yes, that's why we requested an evaluation on our otherwise normal son. Although he is average we want all the tools available to us so he can be the best William he can be.

I'm sure they were talking about the crazy mom who is wasting tax payer money once we left. But they did thank us for introducing William to them. They absolutely adored him. We do too.

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