Thursday, May 18, 2006

Annual Evals....aaaargh!

I can't tell you how much I dislike annual evaluations. You know the ones we have to endure to maintain services for our kiddos. The ones thatthey use these horrible tests like the Battele to measure where our children stand developmentally. I cannot begin to tell you how maddening, and upseting they are to me.
We had Peanuts annual eval today. I always prepare myself for these reviews as they are so biased. If a child "ceilings out" ie gets two zeros in a row, they cannot be scored after that in that topic. The thing is, is that many children skip a couple of these levels yet can do the next three. Doesn't matter, because they have "ceiliinged out" so it doesn't count. Let me tell you about Peanuts eval. I was so excited that she met almost all her goals from last year. Only small handful were not met, only because of linguistics (ie she met them, but because of the way they were worded, she didn't). So many things that last year it seemed as if she'd never get, she did. Like self feeding with pincer grasp. Or moving around her environment independantly to play with her siblings (she butt scoots). Even communicationg her needs or wants with others was met thanks to her using 15 signs (10 spontaneously, and 5 with prompting).
The bummer of all this is that she tested lower then I had expected in many aspects, because she ceilinged out in many of the topics. For example, in verbal communication skills, becuase she doesn't SAY two word sentences, she got down graded; never mind that she signs two word phrases, like me bath, me smart. Also she got downgraded on social emotional because she doesn't SAY Hi to an adult or ASK them to play. Never mind that she hops over and waves and says "EH!" or that she brings a toy over to you and taps you on your leg until you pay attention to her.
So over all she tested at a 18 month level, but with ranges from 8 mos to 18 mos in various levels. Frustrating , irritating, yet somewhat endearing that she had come so far. Maddening that we have so much farther to go. Good news is she did great on cognitive and receptive language, bad news is I have a lot of work to do with her. So I guess I better start hopping....TTYL


Naomi said...

I hate those evals. I know they have to stick to one method of doing them for consistency but I wish they'd send out a cheat sheet!

A couple of people have told me that it's better for your child to score lower because then they qualify for more services, which I suppose is true. But we know what our kids are capable of and it's frustrating when it isn't recognised.

Tara Marie said...

Those evaluations are exactly why I opted out of EI and exactly why I am going to homeschool.

Ellen said...

I work with AI kids and all of the students I have this year are non-verbal. We use PECS with all of them and even the ones that can't sign know the difference between the PECS card with raisins and the PECS card with fruit snacks.

In the district I work in, they make no disctinction between verbal communication/sign/PECS. If the student is communicating effectively - that counts!


Belovedlife said...

Thanks everyone! I have tried to tell the EI people this, but to no avail. THis week we go to a new location to have a new speech eval done. I am hoping thatthey will give her credit where credit is due. She is still behind, but not as much when you include all her signs.
Homeschooling sounds great, but I have no time or patience...I need my mommy tie while the kids are in school (sorry!)
Thanks for the info and for stoping by my blog. AS I am so swamped right now, my postings are few and far between, but keep checking in.

Ellen said...

You're on my "watch every day" section!