Thursday, May 07, 2009


On Tuesday, I had to pack up the kiddos and travel up to our local special education office to sign off on Caleb's ARD papers stating that he doesn't qualify for any services. If you don't remember what has all happened to get us to this point, here's a brief run down in my favorite of forms, bullets:
  • October 08- I got a phone call from the Mother's Day Out program that Caleb had been enrolled in for 3 years stating that he was having some significant difficulties and would I come to the school for a parent/teacher conference. I had a very difficult meeting with Caleb's teacher in which some very terrible problems were insinuated to be the problem and we were told to get him tested.
  • Late October 08- I was able to get Caleb an appointment with the special education department in our school district for some testing that was suggested. During this time period, I had been pulled aside by 2 more of Caleb's teachers (not from the Mother's Day Out program, just teachers from church) to tell me that they also thought something was "wrong with him". One actually told me they thought he was disabled...
  • November 08- We had our first appointment with the special ed department and it was determined that his major issue at the time that needed to be evaluated was most likely speech related. We decided to test his speech first and see if that would be an easily correctable issue.
  • Late November 08- Caleb had an in-class observation by one of the professionals, not a psychologist or speech pathologist, from the special ed department.
  • December 08- Caleb failed his hearing test that was completed by the special ed department and also failed subsequent hearing tests done by our ENT. After examination, it was determined that he had fluid in his ears, which had been a chronic, but transient issue, so tubes were recommended. We agreed.
  • December 15, 08- Caleb had his tube surgery and we saw results within days. We probably would have seen results sooner had the whole family not have come down with the stomach virus of death. Seriously, it's hard to pay attention to how much you or your child can or cannot hear when its all you can do to retain your bodily fluids in the compartments in which they belong.
  • December 08 (post surgery)- Caleb failed his post surgery hearing test that was conducted by a brand new, not yet licensed audiologist. Later we found out that his test was one of her first, so who knows what would have happened had we had a more trained individual. We were told Caleb would need a sedated ABR, a test in which he would be put under anesthesia to have his cochlear nerve (the one that transmits that signals for hearing to the brain) tested. We were referred to a pediatric ENT for just that test.
  • December 08- The pediatric ENT spent 5 minutes with Caleb and determined that his speech was too good for a kid who couldn't hear. He wanted his audiologist to test his hearing and Caleb passed. He was given a clean bill of health and we were sent on our way.
  • December 08- Caleb never went back to his Mother's Day Out class. We had decided to pull him out, due to his behavior issues that no other person had experienced with him. We were sad, but we are convinced that the stomach bug of death was God's way of protecting his little feelings by having to go back to class, knowing he wouldn't return again.
  • January 09- Caleb had his speech evaluation with the speech pathologist, which he passed. Surprise, surprise. I was told at this meeting that Caleb's observation was fine and he did not exhibit any of the behaviors that were expressed by his teachers. I would find out later that this was not true.
  • January 09-March 09- I fielded phone call after phone call from special ed psychologists who wanted to evaluate Caleb's behavior with the sole purpose of putting some diagnosis on him. It wasn't until I finally told them that we were not interested in them diagnosing our son with a condition he did not have that they stopped calling and backed off. It was at some point during this time that I was told that Caleb did in fact show some of the behaviors that his teachers were so concerned about. However, I was given no specifics and just assumed that I would get the report at some point in time.
  • April 09- I received a phone call from the speech pathologist stating that she finally finished up Caleb's report and wanted to email me a copy. This report contained the observation notes as well and reading it made me sick. I truely had no idea exactly what was happening until I read about it from a 3rd party's perspective. The way it is written makes my son sound like he's seriously delayed and completely autistic, which we know is not the case. The opinion in the report is completely skewed and is obviously written from the point of view of looking for something wrong instead of just observing. Not cool.
  • May 09- I went in and signed the papers stating that Caleb did not qualify for services at that time. The speech pathologist asked me about his behaviors and said that if we every wanted to test him in that regard then to just call. Then she said the following,"Caleb does not qualify for any speech services, however I am still very concerned over his lack of eye contact." Hm. She spoke directly to Caleb only two times with the first being while he was climbing a flight of stairs while looking for me and second while he was working puzzles. She was also concerned that when asked what his sister's name was, he responded, "Piper, P-I-P-E-R", spelling it out. If she would have asked, I would have told her that he does that because we do that. Most of the time people do not know what we are saying when we say Piper's name, so we spell it.

All in all, I'm glad that this whole disaster of an issue is done. Is this the conclusion to all this? I certainly hope so. This ball has been dropped too many times by too many "professionals" and assumptions have been made all over the place about my boy. I hope it's over.

1 comment:

Christa said...

Hey...sorry to hear about your ordeal with the therapy profession. Doesn't sound like you ran into to many people that knew what they were doing. Remember that I am an OT and I know some very good SLPs and PTs if you ever need any advice =0)