Thursday, June 5, 2008

School Frustration

Ugh. Due to Tate's IEP and the services we are receiving, the school psychologist felt the need to do a bunch of testing on Tate.

As it turns out, I had planned to have both Tate and Wyatt take the Iowa Test through the local homeschool group, but Tate was too sick to go on his appointed days. So, I agreed to the testing at the school.

And I sat in the room with him through every single minute of it. And for good reason... based on personal experience I don't fully trust the school psychologist's judgment.

Most of the testing was run-of-the-mill... math problems, spelling, editing, reading and comprehension, etc. But then she decided she needed to test something else... probably Phonological Processing. She told Tate she would play a tape and he would hear a man's voice saying words, and he should repeat the words... which are broken down into (very unnatural sounding) individual sounds, "KH--AAAA--T" and he's supposed to say, "cat".

Right away I jumped in and told her that HE'S DEAF! He can't "get" that information from audio-only, he needs to see the visual cues - either see the person's face forming the sounds, or see a visual representation of what is being said. "Well," she said, "no one gets visual cues."

Does she not GET that this is an inappropriate test for a Hard of Hearing person? He can not "hear" the difference between "m" and "n". He HAS to see your face. He can't hear a lot of initial consonants. He gets the context, and his brain fills in what his ears missed. If the word is a WORD that is in a CONTEXT. She has no idea.

Tate is so smart that people consistently think he hears a lot better than he does. They have no idea how hard he is working to take what he DOES hear and arrange it into something meaningful. (When he was first diagnosed at 3 1/2, Children's Hospital ran the tests three times, because they did not believe he could have the hearing loss he does and speak/communicate as well as he does.)

Ugh! I should've brought one of those squishy ear-plugs AND a set of 'head-phone' style ear protectors... "Here, insert this into your left ear. Now put these over both ears. Now lets play the tape for you and see what YOU get."

Fortunately, I WAS THERE. She insisted on giving this test anyway. After listening to a bunch of seemingly random sounds coming from the stereo Tate gave me a look, like, "What am I supposed to do with this?" I just rolled my eyes at him.

She finally gave it up, and tried to give him the test verbally herself, but mispronounced most of the sounds. YET SHE SCORED IT ON HIS TEST. 24%.

I'm not sure she's familiar with the term "Outlier", (she would probably think I was calling her a liar), but I brought in results of the independent testing I've had done, so maybe she'll get the point. Maybe.

1 comment:

leahlefler said...

This is what I fear when my little guy gets into school! I found your blog on google and it is comforting to see an older hoh kiddo who is doing so well. There are lots of blogs on little kids, but seeing a happy and well-adjusted hoh third grader made my day!