Oh, that KayTar. She's amazing. She did really well today, from what I gather. We were there for roughly 3 hours and while she was entertained/tested by six or so specialists, they took turns interviewing me and having me fill out paperwork. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to how she was "performing" per say. But she was happy and attentive mostly and she stole their hearts with her adorable braininess. All of the evaluators were female and they all said, "We NEVER get little girls. We might get one girl for every ten boys we see." Her stripey sweater and curly blonde ponytail gave her major bonus points. ;) Nothing is finalized yet, and we aren't even to the point of discussing classroom placement, but this is the summary from thus far. For the record, I loved ALL of the evaluators. They were great with her and attentive and kind and it was a positive experience. For all the worries I've had about this process, thus far, I haven't been displeased a single time.
Let's start with OT. She had KayTar play with a variety of textures, including shaving cream. KayTar was NOT a fan, but she sat at the table and obligingly put her finger in. Then she asked to wash her hands for the rest of the time. When they ignored her (purposefully) she took one of their hands and wiped her hands clean using theirs. She was well-behaved, but clearly showed some strong sensory preferences. Her fine motor, though, is excellent as it always has been. She is recommending OT for sensory/feeding purposes, not fine motor purposes, which I wholeheartedly agree with.
The physical therapist was great. She took a lot of time asking me about KayTar and watched her in action and had her attempt a few things. She also took a good look at her feet and legs and strongly recommended seeing an orthopedist. She said if nothing else, KayTar needs orthotics in her shoes. She said once her feet are more supported, her joints and muscles might start to tighten a bit and her body will feel safer and more balanced. She said the hypermobile joints and hypotonia aren't helping her poor balance, which is perfectly logical and I kind of wish her old PT would have made these suggestions early. She is going to review the preschool curriculum and determine whether KayTar will be able to function well without PT services and do what will be required of her. She still isn't able to run or jump, and she won't walk on uneven terrain (grass, mulch, sand) so we'll see.
The SLP was with KayTar almost the entire time, making notes and checking her comprehension and the like. She spoke with me before and after and asked periodic questions in between. She picked up on some of Katie's canned answers and such, but because I was so busy talking with everyone, I don't know exactly how she did. I think she presented a pretty typical for her type of speech, although I don't think she did any echolalia or direct mimicry. For the most part, I think it was a very accurate picture.
She is going to have an autism evaluation with the school psychologist, who was in and out today, but not technically evaluating. We are totally on board with this, because so many of KayTar's quirks do fall in the spectrum. I'm actually looking forward to it, just to see what she has to say.
Otherwise, KayTar was polite and well mannered and an entertaining delight. They were enamored with her. She made her preferences clear, but was pretty even keeled. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case, but it sure makes for a wonderful first impression. They were excited that she knows so much and said that in many areas she is above age level. She has a memory like a steel trap and learns quickly. All in all, I think it went swimmingly. I hope that they saw enough of each side to place her properly and I am thrilled that she will be having a behavioral evaluation because I think at this point, lots of her delayed areas fall into that category. Her speech is quirky, her senses are quirky, her balance is quirky, her reading is a quirk all on its own. Cognitively, she's a little ahead of the game, I think. But behaviorally, I'm not sure where she falls.
Anyway, long story short, she was adorable and I think it went well. The next step is the autism evaluation and then the Big Meeting where we talk placement. I am happy to say, thus far, this is has been a very positive experience...nerves notwithstanding.
Now I must scamper off and take care of a few things before class tonight. Oh, and in case you are dying to know, I am a straight A student thus far. In Philosophy I have a perfect grade and my lowest grade overall is 95. I am pleased.
And hey! Look at this handsome guy!
I happened to have a photo befitting Theme Thursday and decided to play along since I'm double posting today. The theme is "Focus" and he certainly was focused, little tongue peeking out and all. Video games are serious business!