Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Transition to Kindergarten

We had our IEP meeting for the transition to kindergarten yesterday. I have to say that I think it went very well! I hear so many people complaining about their IEP teams and having a hard time with their meetings, but I feel like things generally go very smoothly for us.

The new team at the elementary school seems very on-the-ball. We don't know her teacher assignment yet, but a representative kindergarten teacher came to the meeting, as well as a representative from the EC classroom (EC= Exceptional Children = what we call special ed here). The speech therapist and OT were there as well. The PT couldn't come, but was available by phone when we had a question for her. All of the players seemed to work well together, and even chimed in on things that weren't necessarily in their own domains. I feel really good about the team.

We were able to get pretty much everything that we wanted from the meeting. We had been asking for them to give her OT for a while, and now they have agreed to that. They added a PT goal that I asked for after calling the PT by phone to ask her about it. They added academic goals that I tried to get at our last meeting 3 months ago, but couldn't get until now. They also approved of our idea to have her go to all 3 days of staggered entry instead of just the typical 1 day, which would basically give her the first day of school 3 times in a row for reinforcement.

They want to start her off with a lot of pull-out time to the EC room, which was not what I expected. I thought they would push someone in instead, but they explained that at least for now they want to see how she will do in a smaller group for that work. So she is going to have 30 minutes each for reading, writing, and math in the EC room 4 days per week. And on top of that she has 1 PT, 1 OT, and 2 speech per week. So while that does seem like a lot of time out of her classroom, I do agree that it is a good plan for now and we can re-assess later.

Kindergarten starts in just 6 weeks for us (year-round school) and we are excited! Not that I think our developmental day preschool experience has been bad, but I think that the level of service she will get in elementary school will be even better, based on this meeting.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wechsler Results

We got the results back from our Wechsler test:

Verbal Comprehension Composite: 73
Subtest: Information - 6
Subtest: Similarities - 3

Visual Spatial Composite: 58
Subtest: Block Design - 1
Subtest: Object Assembly - 4

Fluid Reasoning Composite: 85
Subtest: Matrix Reasoning - 9
Subtest: Picture Concepts - 6

Working Memory Composite: 67
Subtest: Picture Memory - 1
Subtest: Zoo Locations - 7

Processing Speed Composite: 75
Subtest: Bug Search - 6
Subtest: Cancellation - 5

Full Scale IQ: 69

Two years ago, she had a Stanford-Binet test and scored 73. This time she took a Wechsler test and scored 69, which they say is in the margin of error of the last test, but puts her in a different category (70 cutoff). They are not going to give her a diagnosis of mild intellectual disability, or of borderline intellectual functioning, yet though. They say that we should test her again at age 7 and that by that age IQ should be more stable.

What I find frustrating are two things.

1) That we still have no diagnosis. I feel like they just keep kicking the can down the road, and it just feels so open-ended to me. I want to just *know* what is going on, and it would be nice to have something to call it.

2) Everyone's reactions. Everyone says "I know her and I don't believe that result". I think that they mean well, like they are trying to say that they are sure everything will be fine. But to me it just comes off as dismissive.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wechsler IV

Yesterday I took Sweets for her Wechsler IQ test (WPPSI-IV). This is in preparation for her upcoming IEP meeting, which will be setting up her fast-approaching kindergarten year.

The first module was Block Design. In this game, the doctor set up 3 blocks side-by-side in a pattern of white, white, red, and asked Sweets to copy the design. Sweets did not accurately copy the design (she did white, red, white). They moved on to other patterns using 3 blocks, and then 2 blocks. Sweets was able to stack the 2 blocks on top of each other just fine.

The next module was Information. Sweets had to chose the correct picture as the response to a question - "These 3 items are things you eat. Which of those items is also something you eat?". Sweets seemed to do fine at this. This was followed by open-ended verbal questions. Some of these she gave amusing answers. Who wears a crown? "People" Who else? "Prince Wednesday." What color is most dirt? "Mulch" What color is it? "Black" Who lays an egg? "Baby Beep Beep" (????)

The next module was Matrix Reasoning. There was a set of 4 pictures, missing one, and she had to select which one was missing from a choice of four responses. She did not do very well on this.

The following module was Picture Concepts, which had two rows of pictures, and she had to choose one picture from each row that go together. She really did not do well on this. I don't think she really understood what she was supposed to be doing for this. She often even picked both pictures from the same row.

The next module was Bug Search. There was a target bug symbol next to a search group, and he had to use a stamper tool to mark the correct match to the target. I think she did okay at this.

Then there was a Picture Memory module. In this, she was shown a picture for a few seconds, and then asked to pick out that picture from a group. She did okay with just one stimulus picture, but had a very hard time when there were two stimulus pictures to remember.

The next module was Similarities. The first one was "Yellow and Red are both ____ ", but Sweets would not even answer. I know that she knows that, but she wouldn't participate in that module at all, so we skipped it.

The next module was Object Assembly - or puzzles. She did okay with the 2 piece puzzles, but was not able to do the 3 piece puzzles. One of the puzzles made a circle (a clock), and she worked really hard on it, but could not figure it out. She ended up making a ~ type shape instead and then gave up. The other puzzle was a car, and she got the first two pieces together, but could not figure out where the 3rd piece went.

There was a Cancellation module, in which there were many pictures on a large paper. Some pictures were of things you wear (shirt, pants, hat, etc) and others were of other kinds of things. She had to use the stamper to mark only the things you wear. I think she did pretty well on this. She may not have marked a lot of things in the time allotted, but I think she was pretty accurate in the things she did mark.

There was also a module that we called the Zoo Locations, where she had a base with two compartments at first, and the examiner would tell her which animals lived in which compartment. Then she was given a card with the animals and asked to put them where they belong. She did pretty well with this, even given 2 animals at a time with up to 4 compartments to choose from. Pictures of some of these subtests (the newest ones that are in the WPPSI-IV but not the WPPSI-III) are in this blog post.

Now we have to wait 2 weeks to get the results back, and then the IEP meeting is a week after that.