I thought it might be helpful to other parents if I could try to write about some of our stages in this process. I hope to have a series of these posts before school starts in the Fall.
Last week, I got a call from the school district psychologist, informing me that he would be sending a form home in Sean's backpack for me to fill out. The ABAS, Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, arrived on Thursday and I was surprised to see that it was a nine page form asking me about different behaviors, skills and abilities that Sean exhibits at home. The psychologist informed me that this would be used as part of his evaluation for Sean's cognitive abilities and help him determine what academic placement options he will suggest at our upcoming IEP meeting. This link offers a good overview of the survey and why it is used.
Of course, I procrastinated filling out the form until this morning.
When reading through the form, I was asked to choose from these options:
0= Does not have this ability
1= Never or Almost Never does this
2= Sometimes does this
3= Always or Almost Always does this
I was also given the option to check a box indicating that I am guessing at my answer because it is something we haven't actually experienced with Sean, but I think he might be capable at some level of completing the given task. Yeah, I checked that a couple times. :)
Overall, I was happy that I got to check more boxes stating that he Always or Almost Always is able to do different tasks or behaviors than I did the Never or Almost Never boxes. There were a lot of food/eating related questions that ended up in the Never column. Like ordering his own meals, cutting his own food, assisting in food preparations. Though, if you look at things from Sean's POV, he does do that to an extent. He often requests we stop for a cone when we are out driving around, and should we stop for one, he yells "Cone! Cone!" from his seat. Does that count as ordering his own food? When eating his purees, he carries them to his chair, removes the plastic lid and uses his teeth to peel back the foil top. Is that assisting in food preparations?
There were several questions about communication skills and obviously I marked low on those, as well as things like saying his ABC's, stating his phone number, first & last name, counting to 20, drawing recognizable figures or letters. I know those are his areas of major delay and not surprised to see how many of those skills he needs to reach.
Some things, I realized that like we did with Aidan, I really haven't given Sean a chance to complete. For example, "does he select his own clothing every day?" "Does he make his bed?" No and no. Neither does Aidan. If I asked Sean to get pants and a shirt he would. He knows which drawers they are in. Would they match? Would he pick ones that fit right? Not likely, in all fairness Doug doesn't even know which things fit and which don't. I pick out clothes for all three kids every day. I guess I should let them, but honestly it's just faster and easier this way. And bed making, um, yeah, I do that sometimes. It's not really a priority in our rushed morning routines. I think if I took the time to show the boys how to make a bed they could.
The school hasn't scheduled our IEP meeting yet, so I have that took look forward to. I've already told Doug that we need to make sure we get a sitter for the kids so that we can both attend. It feels like such a big step, that I am just ready for it so I can hear what they have to say.