Tuesday, November 17, 2009

well THAT went well

The State, in all its infinite wisdom, demanded that Punkin undergo an IQ test today to determine what level of care he requires and to ensure that he does, in fact, still require a level of care from The State [to maintain his MR Medicaid Waiver].

I know, I know. But he has a genetic disorder. It's in his DNA. He had a blood test. And even if every child with Fragile X is different, he's already undergone IQ testing twice. So he wouldn't require that, right?

Yes, well, apparently that doesn't matter. Because he's turning five soon. And when you turn five, well, magical things might happen. Magical things like your IQ jumping 60 points.

We had to leave school early. AND OH MY GOODNESS HOW EXCITING WAS THIS?? He couldn't contain himself. He ran up, bouncing, BOUNCING, "MOM! I uh justa so uh happy uh see uh you!" Hugs all around! And then to his teacher, "I uh all done now! See you uh morrow!"

The bouncing continued at the psychologist's office, which happened to be the office of my former psychologist (LOVE), and we had a nice mini-reunion. After I signed some papers and he announced, "I POOPED" to the entire waiting room, I changed him and we went back for the test.

The doctor and I talked for a few minutes and then I left the room so that they could work; we both agreed that he would probably be better behaved without me there. Not even five minutes later, she and Punkin walked into the waiting room, "He can't do that test. It's too hard and there's no way he's going to attend to the tasks."

As she looked for a Vineland (an interview with me), she mentioned that the final straw was when he chucked the blocks across her office. I must admit that I chuckled a little when I walked into the room and saw a table set up and a box with a bunch of blocks and a binder inside. I mean, really?

I was picturing toys, honest. I prepped Punkin for this appointment by telling him there would be toys. I should have known better. He's about to be FIVE and all fun apparently goes out the IQ testing window at that age. Geez. So now Punkin is peeved off and restlesss and has to sit while I answer questions about his development for over an hour and a half. I try laying him upside-down on my lap, I try having him watch movies on my phone, I try letting him play with cars, but it's a small office. Objects fly.

It's a problem that no one has been able to solve; IQ tests, specifically for children with autism and Fragile X, are set up to fail. Asking a child with sensory integration disorder, anxiety, social disorder, difficulty processing language, and ADHD to sit at a table across from a stranger and complete random tasks on demand is ridiculous at best. Imagine your most nerve-wracking task and then picture a stranger staring you in the face the entire time. Think you'd do your best?

Tests need to be play-based; they are for young children, but not for older ones (like five year olds??) And please, PLEASE take away the table and chairs. Sit next to my child instead of across from him. Suggest instead of demand. And maybe consider introducing yourself. OH, OH, and maybe you could come to his school or house? That'd be sweet. And could he have some sensory breaks?

Alright, just incorporate all of those things and we'll be good. No problem, right? I know, it's a lot. But I'm pretty sure that Punkin -- who only counted to four today -- would appreciate showing off his actual skills. And it's not her fault and it's not his fault; it is what it is. The tests are set up to be administered in such a way that dooms many special needs kids for failure. I know, though, that regardless of what that piece of paper says, my son is brilliant -- and a joy. A very bouncy, loud, challenging, energetic joy.


Punkin's Oma said...

wouldn't it be wonderful if someone he knew & felt comfortable with could give the tst? But the, when I had to administer ITBS tests I had students freak & the scores were not true to life.

Landon Andrew said...

VERY well written! Amen!

Kristiem10 said...

Amen is right! You are a smart mama. At least the "destined to fail" test probably helped him qualify for services.

I never put too much stock in what IQ results are.

Anonymous said...

unfortunately IQ tests are required every three years through the school years. However depressing, frustrating these can be it is helpful to have that paperwork on file. Robert has been spared from having to see some random psychologist because I was able to produce proof of his development. That and the person reading all that paperwork was intelligent to know that IQ's don't change. Keep EVERYTHING.

Laura said...

What an inane system!! You should send this to the ... I don't even know who.