About a week and a half ago I took Isaac in to the Center for Special Education to be re-evaluated. His “pyscho-educational” assessment needed updating to reflect the progress he’s made in preschool and to help his team determine an appropriate placement for him for Kindergarten.
So, I brought him in, on a Saturday morning, to the same old building I’ve been to dozens of times to arrange things for either him or Andrew. I’ve had great meetings in that building where I was surprised and comforted at the amount of support that was offered and I’ve had terrible meetings in that building where I had to fuss and fight for simple basics.
The whole way there was I telling myself that this assessment doesn’t matter. He is who he is. I don’t care how he scores. I just hope he pays attention and does what they ask of him. I pretty much convinced myself that I was as cool-as-a-cucumber about the whole thing. Except the evaluator was someone from one of the terrible meetings, and the room used for the assessment was the same room I’ve had to fuss and fight in. I nervously texted Dave, my brother, a few friends…all the while telling myself how calm I feel about this. So one leg is shaking…look how calm I am!
And the little booger sat through two hours of testing (!!!). He was fidgety, but he was paying attention and answered the questions. I was hopeful they saw some of what he knows and some of where he struggles. And…four days later, as I was looking at the test results, sitting in my car, ready to do the after school pick up…I could see that the results were accurate. Moreover, I could see that overall his scores improved. And then…I burst into tears.
It turns out, I care. I care what the stupid tests say. I want him to score well. When he doesn’t score well, I don’t take it lightly. I hem and haw and turn it over and over in my head until I can make peace with it. And by “make peace with it”, I don’t mean “find ways to deny it”…I mean stare at it square on until it isn’t scary anymore. I try to see the tests for what they give him…more support when he needs it…a more challenging program as he improves. I know that the tests aren’t telling me too much about who he is…but they do say something. They do shed some light on my adorable, mysterious Isaac. They say how agile he is with letters and numbers, but how limited his vocabulary is. They say how much he can make sense of things visually, but how strings of sentences can get tangled in his brain. And, I might add, several time the examiner noted how “adorable” he is. And that my friends, is scientific accuracy at it’s best.
I really like the charted, numerical proof of improvement to add to my mama anecdotals. It feels grounding and validating. He’s growing. He’s learning. He’s rocking and rolling. He’s sure-as-heck not your average duck, but honestly, I think I prefer him that way. ;)
When presented with these cheesy-onion rolls, he mysteriously refused them and asked for cake. A love for cake, I definitely get. But refusing these rolls? Just another piece of the Isaac puzzle I have yet to solve.