Friday, April 10, 2015

Assessing Noah

To Ching and I, Noah is a smart, determined, undeterred, stubborn, sweet, immature boy. 

We're never sure that's all a recipe for success in school. 

Over the past month or so, Noah's teacher, speech therapist, the school psychologist and a social worker have all compiled reports on Noah's development.  This includes a set of questions sent home to Ching and I that were statements you answer with "always/often/sometimes/never."  I'm not a big fan of those types of evaluations, but they have their place. 

Today, I met with all of those people and we went over the reports in an effort to formulate a plan for Noah succeeding in kindergarten next year.  What I appreciate most about all of this is that their assessments of Noah align really, really well with how Ching and I see him.  That's a good thing. 

One of the interesting things about Noah is that his overall picture is a little complicated and atypical.  I often wonder if he'd be different if he weren't an only child - not that there's anything to be done about it.  There's no way to know why his speech is delayed the way it is.  I think it's a mix of things - he's excited and in a hurry to say what he has to say.  But, he also isn't overly concerned if you don't understand him, so even if you ask him what he said, he's already moved on to the next thing. 

I had been looking forward to the psychologist testing to see if the results were what we thought they'd be.  Thankfully, some of those assessments are non-verbal.  Of course, he did the best on those.  But even on the verbal ones his intelligence came through.  

Other than his speech issues, he's easily distracted (even for a boy his age!).  Add that to a tendency to not do things he doesn't want to, and there could be real issues next year. 

We know he's going to be in a regular kindergarten class next year, which means lots of kids and one teacher.  (Not sure about there being teacher's aides in the classroom yet.)  Because Noah isn't entirely typical, we think it's going to be helpful just that his teacher next year has all this info from his IEP to know where he's at and what to expect from him.  Without the IEP I think he could be misunderstood. 

The next phase is formulating an actual action plan to get him the help he needs next year.  He'll continue speech therapy, but he'll also get some one on one assistance in the classroom.  He needs help staying on task and sometimes with understanding instructions. 

As I've said a few times, I'm not the biggest fan of public schools in general, but we really are grateful for the people who have worked with him and taught him so far.  I know it helps that he's happy and outgoing, it takes the edge off his stubbornness. 

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