Sunday, September 23, 2018

An Educational Autism Evaluation

This past week all of the evaluations for Tessie's educational evaluation for an autism diagnosis were finished up. 

For anyone who hasn't gone the diagnosis process, an educational diagnosis for autism is different than a medical diagnosis. There are different tests and different criteria for these two autism diagnoses.

And that means that child can qualify for a medical diagnosis and therapies and not qualify for an educational diagnosis and supports at school. Which can be pretty frustrating for parents who are watching a child struggle. 

Or so I've heard.

I don't really have personal experience with what it's like to get one and not the other, because one of the positives of having a child with a rather extensive communication disability is that no one is really going to question whether or not supports are necessary (at least not once they met her, before they met her that question was asked quite a bit). 

When you have a large communication delay it's pretty obvious, at every turn that the supports are necessary.

So in the last month and a half Tessie went through the evaluations with an occupational therapist, and speech therapist, a psychologist, a social worker, her special education teacher that she sees every week, and someone else that I'm certain that I'm forgetting.

And when the results came back it was a long list that pinpointed where she was developmentally.

Like Maggie she had one area where she shone, and was measuring far ahead of her age's expectations: gross motor skills.

All the other areas showed her measuring behind, sometimes in the eight month old range, or twelve month old range, or in areas where she was a bit stronger, in the eighteen month range.

As a kid who is just about 26 months, those numbers aren't impressive, but they are an improvement over where she was at 18 months, and as we went over the evaluations we could already see places where she had improved in the past month and that was pretty amazing.

So that is where we are at the moment.

Her educational diagnosis is good for three years and means she's eligible for more supports during that time.

And who knows where she'll be at the end of those three years, when she's going into kindergarten.

I'm excited to go on this journey with her, with these supports that I'm so thankful that we have in place from such a young age, and I can't wait to see what she surprises us with next!

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