Saturday, January 15, 2011

Facing the Firing Squad

This week, we visit with Thames Valley Children's Centre to do a six month standardized test - our old favourite, the Vineland-II.  I have mixed feelings about this visit.  On the one hand, we know we will still some nice gains reported, but on the other hand, as Alanna ages, even though her "age equivalent" scores will increase (essentially, her developmental age in a particular area), her "standard scores" (corrected for age) will likely drop or remain stable.  My suspicion is that her communication and socialization scores will drop, but her daily living scores will come up (even the standard scores) because we have been working hard on self-help skills and helping out around the house (domestic skills).  This is actually a typical autism profile - higher "daily living" skills, lower communication and even lower socialization, although in Alanna's case, I think her communication might be lower mostly because her play skills are bumping up her score (we have focused in this area as well).

Something that has surprised us as we will were preparing for this test is that Alanna's motor skills have been neglected over the past six months.  She has not made a lot of gross motor gains and in fact, in some areas, she has caused us concern.  Her balance, likely caused by an impaired proprioceptive sense, needs a lot of improvement.  She rarely runs because (we think) she thinks she will fall.  She trips and falls in general, runs into things, and has fallen down the stairs a few times.  She is "pathologically clumsy".  In any case, we will likely see a huge standard score drop in motor skills and will have to work hard in this category to ensure Alanna is able to continue to participate in activities later on, like more complex playground equipment, hopscotch, and riding a tricycle.

So while I am hopeful and in some ways happy to see how far she has come, I am also wary of the IBI cutoff boogeyman, the one excuse the autism program can use to claim IBI isn't working for Alanna.  So I hope, yet I dread.  Zip up the kevlar vests, we're heading in...

1 comment:

  1. Good luck to all of you. I have always hated standardized tests.