Today was Joshua’s evaluation to determine whether he qualified for an IEP. We are still going through some hoops around here to get Joshua’s “official” ASD diagnosis, but the school psychologist, along with the rest of the team are in agreement that he shows “clear ASD traits, at the farther end of the spectrum” they cannot give an official diagnosis, but they feel he qualifies for services and that is what matters.
What a relief!
The whole meeting went very well and it was confirming for me. The special needs director seemed to be surprised at my understanding and willingness to move forward as quickly as possible, I assume she had forgotten that Daniel is my son as well. (Sometimes I want to stop these people and say, “Hey, guess what I am Autistic!”, but I do not feel that it would beneficial – at this time. ;-)) However, the special needs teacher did not and I could hear her giggle a few times when the therapists or director asked me if I understood everything. She said, “You are pretty much a pro at this by now.” Lol! I would not say pro, but I know quite a bit about my kids, their challenges, needs, and strengths so she knows that I will request whatever I feel will best help them and that I understand the process.
Blah, blah, blah I know babbling …
They have categorized him under ASD, sensory processing disorder, and Written Expression Learning Disorder. As soon as the IEP is approved and signed, he will begin to get OT services and an additional writing virtual lesson. It is specifically to help in the area of expression along with sentence structure and articulating them into stories. The focus is not on spending hours handwriting. The OT did request a scribe (me) for him. YAY!! This will help his imagination skyrocket; he is so creative so I know this is going to build him up big time.
They did find some things interesting about Joshua, which were things that I am glad that others could see.
I was having my doubts about what I observe at times, so it is good for me to hear from professionals and what they observe. Joshua scored average almost across the board with the IQ tests, but when it came to Perceptual Reasoning, he scored in the superior range. He had similar unique scores when it came to motor subtests. He would score average on some and zero on others. Though, they see no need for speech because he did very well on those evaluations he received “at level” type a score. Although, there was some confusion because I had given detailed information about his social confusion and difficultly with communicating.
The special needs teacher thankfully asked me about that and listened to my explanation.
You can ask Joshua about any social scenario and the majority of the time he is able to give the “correct” social response. Joshua logically understands what do; he knows the right words to say if you show him a picture of a social situation. He can tell you what makes a good friend and the difference between a friend and a bully. However, when he is in the actual situation he cannot. He has been treated horribly by some kids and thought that they were his best friends in the world. He misreads our tones, faces, words, and body language all the time, but if I show him a picture or video of a similar situation, he can distinguish correctly. He can become easily upset and lose his words. He shuts down or screams loudly and is unable to articulate what is going on.
It can be very confusing for us all around.
She suggested her virtual social group and I thought that would be a great thing for Joshua. It has helped Daniel leaps and bounds and I believe it will help Joshua even more. It is a structured group and they have fun so I am looking forward to see how Joshua feels about it. He and Daniel may find new ways to bond through this, which, could be beneficial to both of them. We’ll see what happens. I am so excited for Joshua I think he is going to gain a lot of self-confidence with these helps and the accommodations. I really love that the teachers and the therapists do not use negative language.
They are focused on strengths.
They use my children’s strengths to help them with their challenges and they give me resources/ideas to help at home also. The focus is on their success and seeing the positives while, still working on the challenges. It makes me feel really good as a parent to have people who do not look at my children as something to “fix” or “control,” but as a unique individuals who can be successful with the right resources and encouragement. I wish more parents had that with their schools, actually in society in general. The poor guy gets so down on himself and focuses on the things he feels he cannot do - I cannot wait to get started. I have a feeling that he is going to gleam with pride when he sees all that he CAN do and he gets to do it in HIS way.
(This is kind of an indirect, but direct connection?) I read this and it was like reading about Joshua. I thought it was a good resource to share.