Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Colin's Evaluation Results

Two formal diagnoses in one week. I recorded my sessions with the Psychologists so that I would be able to transcript this to everyone. Sorry it has taken so long, but that is a LONG conversation and A LOT of information I have to sift through.

Christian and I went back to the psychologist. What we learned about Colin really did not surprise us. However, hearing the actual age equivalents for his development was hard.

Most interestingly, the two psychologists "debated for a few days" on what his diagnosis should be. Colin exhibits a number of social difficulties often found in children exhibiting problems with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He has a history of engulfing perseverative preoccupations, as well as the social deficits and behavioral rigidity typically found in Asperger's Disorder (AD). He is unusual in that he also continues to show some behaviors more typical of a high level autism. So, after much debate, it was decided that he would be diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome with Residual Autistic Characteristics.

Colin's intellectual functioning and academic knowledge were both in the low average level. He also ranges low average with expressive and receptive speech, manipulating phonological manipulation and speech articulation. Colin does have an average to above average level for his memory.

Colin's emotional development is delayed, with his sense determined by his immediate impulses and desires, but beginning to be influenced by his enduring interests, abilities and beliefs. His capacity to inhibit impulses, regulate emotions, tolerate frustration and delay gratification is poorer than his peers. He is insecure in his attachment due to ASD, with both separation anxiety and a functional/instrumental use of me. Basically, I am here to serve his every desire and whim at the moment he desires it. I have no purpose in life other than to wait and and foot on him.

Besides AD with residual traits of ASD, he has also been diagnosed with severe Separation Disorder and a sensory integration disorder, as well as ADHD.

Soon, the battle between the school district and I will resume. With the diagnosis in hand, advice from the woman across the street (she is a special education teacher in a nearby city) and the fact that I WILL NOT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THEIR BULL SHIT ANYMORE... Colin SHOULD be going into 1st grade with a special education support team on his side. Should the school district try to deny him, we are prepared to get an advocate and get the Texas Education Agency involved. I WILL NOT let them tell me that he is "too smart" for services and is only able to receive them if he has "educational needs." The bloody diagnosis papers directly state that he needs services.

SSSOOOO.... that's the story of my little guy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Some Chicken Pictures...

It's been hard putting everything together with Keely's Eval, so I figured I would throw in a few pictures of the chicken-friends.

What do you do with a dog run and old dog house? Build a chicken house!

The ducks... The week we got them, their first water play, and this week. Pom-Pom has the giant pom-pom. Quack is pure white (both female). Mack is the mallard (his green head fathers are starting to come in). And lastly is Gravy (the last two are male)

CHICKENS! Here are some of the girls in their house just after a HUGE storm.

Gloria, one of our Ameraucana hens. They lay green & blue eggs!!!

Silkies! The buff one is Bullet the Roo. We have 2 whites that we can't tell apart! Squished in the middle is an Easter Egger. She's a cross breed similar to an Ameraucana.

POLISH! They are a fun breed. We have two. This girl is named Elvis because of her crest.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Keely's Evaluation Results

Christian and I met with the psychologist. We thought we knew what to expect; what we heard surprised us.

FIRST, everything that is wrong with her is NOT due to some circumstance in her life. It is not due to a traumatic incident or what has been going on between Christian and I. It is genetic. These problems surfaced as a toddler... as some of you know, she was always... different. When she was 3, it was hard to really diagnose her with anything because she was so young. So, when she was young, they said "it looks like it will be this and looks like that..." they wouldn't formally diagnose her because she was so young. She DOES NOT have Asperger's Syndrome like they thought. AS kids are not this aware of their feelings and emotions. They are not this aware of what's going on inside them or outside around them. This surprised us the most, but when the psychologist explained everything, it made a lot of sense.

Keely was anxious through the evaluation, sometimes angry, sometimes oppositional. She has a very negative overall perception over life, and a VERY negative perception of me. Her "working memory," where you take in info in the environment and try to figure out what you may or may not already know, is being affected by her emotional problems. The attention problems may not be from ADHD, but instead because she is so focused on her anxiety, negativity and emotional problems. The medication that she was on at the time of testing stays in the body for a longer period of time, so the test was inconclusive (she failed 1 of 3 tests). Basically, her cognitive tests all came back in the average to superior range (that means her brain is working great).

She is 7. A normal 7 year old is usually pretty oblivious to what is going on internally. Oh, not with Keely. She is very aware of her anxiety, depression, strain on her social interactions and behaviours; she is very emotionally distressed and has a very low self concept. A VERY SIGNIFICANT level of depression. She has a pretty significant level of anxiety which she manifests into physical problems (being tired, tummy aches, potty problems, headaches). This anxiety is almost obsessive compulsive. She has to have things in order and if they aren't they stress her out and she dwells on it until it is changed.

She is a highly reactive child. This has been since birth. She has an over reactive central nervous system and gets set off by stimulation. She is very hyper reactive and this leads to a lot of anxiety. A situation to explain this is if someone bumps into you. You and I would see it as, "Oh, we bumped into each other," whereas Keely interprets it as, "This person did it on purpose." She has no rational thought, she thinks purely on emotion.

She also has an attachment disorder. This had been since she was a baby. The core is that she has problems with trust and this results in problems with relationships. As long as things are going okay in her mind, everything is fine. Once something changes (and this is usually a misperception on her part) and it is not her way, all hell breaks loose. She perceives this as being done directly to her as a result of her trust issues. It's a vicious cycle because you never know what is going to set her off.