Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dallas testing

This morning I took Dallas in to have an initial evaluation done by Orange County Public Schools to see if he qualifies for their program being that he has Sensory Processing Disorder. That way if we do decide to put him in back in school next year we will have more options for better schools.

It was a total God thing the entire process was. Sunday I was talking with my friend Val and she mentioned that we really should take advantage of getting him tested while he's still 5. But she said it usually takes months to get an initial appt. I called Monday and got an appt for wed!!

When we arrived there were so many people already there at 8:15am. Right away everyone was so friendly. They were impressed with all the evals and testing I had already had done on him (neurologist, neurophyc, OT, ST and PT). She gave me a huge stack of about 20 pages of paper work to fill out and we were taken to the waiting room filled with so many parents and little children. I asked the lady how long we would be here and looked at my big pregnant belly and smiled, "I promise you won't be here ALL day child.". Oh my! I didn't think it would take that long. She told me that all these other people were ahead of us and that the sooner i finished the paperwork the sooner we would get moving. I hadn't even finished filling out my paperwork when they came and got us and took us back to start all the testing, before all the other people who were there before us! God was holding my hand and my heart (Dallas was getting very restless and if we had had to wait all day it would not have been a good sight).

First he had a vision test and tested 20/30. She said we need to keep an eye on this.

Next we met with the child phycologist who I really loved. She's an Indian woman with a heart for children. Right away she said her initial thought was that he has Aspergers and wants to do some testing to be sure. I explained that that was our neutologists diagnosis over a year ago but when he was tested by the neurophysiologist he said no, it was PDD. (we saw him last January for testing). She said aspergers is not usualy diagnosed in children before 6 or 7 because they can easily blend in with other children before this age and most parets don't pick up on it. She said there were so many signs pointing to it just within the first couple of minutes of observing him coming back to her room.

So we did the aspergers evaluation test and I had to answer a bunch of questions about him. I left several blank because I wasn't absolutely sure of the answer and others I replied sometimes. When she added up the numbers she said she wasn't going to count any of the blank or sometimes answers to make sure we have a very conservative answer. Even with all of those not counting he still tested in the highest category, guareenteeing an aspergers diagnosis. At first tears welled up in my eyes and I thought I was going to lose it right there. Then God brought a total peace over me. We now can truely understand what is going on with him and move forward to help him in even a better way. His sensory issues make since because that is a huge part of aspergers. And his anxiety and frustration is as well. His odd social habits also make a lot more since. And this diagnosis will really be helpful in getting the right school environment for him. She suggested mainstreaming him in a regular kindergarden class (since he's doing well in preschool so far) but having him at a school with an autism program so there are people there than can help his teacher if she has any questions about schooling him and he can get help from people who are trained in aspergers. (they can also be a huge help to me which is what I REALLY need!). He will also recieve all his therapies at school, OT, PT and ST. With each appt usually costing us $40 a pop this will be a huge money savings as well as time savings instead of me toting around 4 kids to all these places weekly.

He had his speech and education evaluation at the same time with two sweet ladies. His speech has a few things to work on. Education evaluation was ok. They were impressed by some of the things he could do. The phycologist said that his IQ alresy tested higher than average and that it will probably just continue getting higher. Dallas did have one of his fits in the speech and education evaluation and they were happy to get to witness it. The speech therapist commented on what a calm and patient mom I am. I had to laugh. I do try hard to be this way all the time but I'm definatly not perfect.

Everyone absolutley fell in love with Dallas there. How can you not! His heart is one of the biggest you will ever meet. And his smile can just melt your heart!

Now we go back in April for a 3 hour evaluation and then they will bring us back 2 weeks later to give us our assigned school. I'm praying it's Thornbrooke elementary which is 4 miles from our house and an excellent school! We will also try for the 3rd year in a row to get into Hope Charter School. I just have to trust that it's all in Gods hands now since there's not much more I can do.

So next years schooling is all up in the air. They all say school will be the best thing for Dallas to learn to deal with things and get the help he needs. I can also get a sibling transfer for Boston so they could go to the same school. I know Boston really wants to continue homeschooling but I don't want to split them up and make Dallas feel odd or less loved because he's going to school and Boston is staying home. So it looks like we probably won't be homeschooling next year and I am putting my faith in God to show us the right direction continuing forward.

So now I'm deep into research into figuring this whole Asperger diagnosis out and getting ideas on how to parent him best. I'm determined to not let aspergers become who he is or have anyone view him any differently. My goal is to give him tools to help him cope with it and how it makes his view of the world different. I know God has big things planned for him!


Melissa said...

I really admire the way that you are handling this whole situation and know that God will lead you to the right people and programs to help Dallas. When I was teaching kindergarten, I had a student with Asperger's Syndrome and she truly became one of my all-time favorites because of her sweet heart and loving spirit. I am sure that Dallas will be that way for one of his teachers someday. Keep up the good work in researching all of your options and making plans for him. OCPS has a great program for students who need a little extra attention and I hope he will be serviced well.

Cricket said...

Thank you so much Melissa. I can't tell you how much your kind words mean to me. It has been a rough, rocky road but Dallas makes it all worth it. What a blessig he is to us and to everyone he mets. And I have been beyond impressed with OCPS. The future seems so much more brighter now that we are on the right path and with the right guidance.