Morgan's Assessment


We’ve been working with Kids on the Move for about a year now. We took Morgan in for a well-baby visit when he was 18ish months old. His pediatrician gave us a questionnaire to fill out, which Morgan “failed.” They recommended we call Kids on the Move, which we did. He got evaluated and qualified for sensory and speech and development services. I blogged about finding out Morgan is a sensory seeker here. For the past year Morgan has had an occupational therapist, a development specialist, and speech therapist each visit us once a month. 

Now that Morgan is turning 3, he is aging out of Kids on the Move. So we needed to meet with the school district for a formal assessment. We just did this assessment this week. I’m glad that they prepared us for what to expect and that the environment would be difficult for Morgan. It was a small room (very small) and Morgan was expected to do adult-directed tasks in a very specific way. Morgan is more of an “I’ll do it on my own time, in my own way” type of guy. So this stressed him out. Major meltdowns galore. Poor kid. They also had us fill out a zillion screening tests, including ones for autism and ADHD. 

Morgan did okay on the cognitive tasks, but definitely showed delays in speech (especially receptive, aka the amount he understands) and social/emotional stuff. We already knew this. On the autism screening, he warranted concern. The screenings were not diagnostic, but they showed that he scored as possibly being on the autism spectrum. He demonstrates red flags that will be carefully watched. For ADHD it is highly likely. Again, we already knew both of these things.

The good news is he qualifies for services! Yay! So in the fall Morgan will start preschool. I don’t know exactly how frequently he’ll attend. We still need to meet with a bunch of people to write his IEP (Individualized Education Plan). This is where we’ll set up his goals for the next year. Every year we’ll write new goals. He won’t have another formal assessment until he’s 6. (They do them every 3 years.) At the IEP meeting we’ll figure out how often Morgan will attend.

The good news is the preschool will be free (in the same way that public education is free…it’s not really free, it’s just that we pay for with taxes instead of out-of-pocket). He’ll also be picked up and taken to school on a bus that has harnesses. They’ll pick him up at our door and walk him home to our door. So this will be really helpful for me.

The preschool class will have the same type of therapists he’s been seeing: occupational, speech, development, etc. The class will have children with special needs as well as children who are developing “normally” to act as peer models. The class will also have an autism specialist that will watch Morgan. If it is determined that he displays continuous signs of being on the autism spectrum, they have an early intervention full-day classroom that is specially designed for children with autism. I’m hoping that Morgan won’t need this, but if he does, I’m glad he’ll be able to get help. I know that early intervention can make a huge difference.

I’m excited for Morgan, and for me. This transition will be very difficult for him as he is not used to a classroom environment and will be difficult with his sensory and hyperactive needs. But this will work out so well for all of us. If it’s not helping, we can always decide we don’t want services. They aren’t being forced on us. But I think that Morgan will benefit from this. I think going to this preschool with trained specialists will help Morgan to develop his attending, communication, social/emotional and regulating skills.

Even though we knew all these things about Morgan, it was still hard to hear. It’s really hard to hear that your child is not typical. It’s really hard to see his peers pass him up and to know that he isn’t like them.  And then to worry that he may never “catch up." We worry that he may start regressing. We constantly worry about being judged for not being better parents or worry that people will not love or want to spend time with our son. We know he can be difficult. It’s difficult to communicate with him, he’s constantly on the go, and it can be exhausting being around him. But we love him, and I know that we are the best parents for him. Morgan has taught me more about patience and love in his three short years than I ever learned in the years before him. Please be patient with us and with Morgan. We’re doing our best, and sometimes it’s really, really hard. Probably more than we’ve ever shared with most of you. Thank you everyone for being in our lives and supporting us.  We’ll keep you posted on how things are going. :)

Comments

I am so excited that Morgan qualified for services. Its going to to be the best thing for him ever. Yes, the first few weeks he will scream and fall apart, but I promise this will be good for him. This is how he will learn and grow. I remember bring three and being dropped off in huge strange buildings with strange routines and strange people from the bus that took me from mom at home, but it helped me learn how to survive in a world that you can't learn in the comfort of your home (hearing world for me)

Matthew qualified for preschool for speech services a few years ago and I loved that the bus picked him up from my home and dropped him off at home. It was such a blessing!

After awhile Morgan will LOVE it there and learn to thrive. Soon he will be getting his backpack ready and asking to pack specific snacks.
Charlo said…
Oh yeah! that should eventually help with your work a bit, since babysitters don't stick around. I was worrying at first htat you were going to have to still worry about getting him rides there and back, but they go to your door! that will simplify things a lot!

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