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Please help me understand what happened at DD's evaluation

705 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  thoesly
Edited to say: It's done, and I'm really having trouble processing what happened. Please read the third post and help me, because I don't know what to think about this.


OMG, DD's EI evaluation is in less than 4 hours and for some reason I am a nervous wreck. It doesn't help, of course, that she has a stuffy nose and was up a million times last night. I knew when I made the appointment for this that it was the right thing to do, but now I'm starting to doubt myself-- are they gonna laugh at me and say "there's nothing wrong with this kid, why are you wasting my time?" Or on the other hand, are they going to find all kinds of delays I never even imagined were there? Is DD going to be okay, or is she going to have one of her intensely shy fits and spend the entire time with her head buried in my shoulder weeping? (she's been known to do this.) For some reason the idea that they're coming to my HOUSE is the worst thing of all; I wouldn't be so nervous if I were just taking her someplace like an office. Are they going to be secretly criticizing my house and the care I provide DD? They seemed genuinely surprised that someone in my neighborhood was a SAHM.

I know I'm being irrational. The case manager I spoke to yesterday seemed very nice. But will somebody who's BTDT please just tell me to calm down and that it will be okay?

I will be so glad when this is over and done with...
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It WILL be OK. You wouldn't be human if you didn't feel weird about having all these folks come to your house and evaluate your child. But everyone I've met through EI has been really nice, and very interested in helping families. We have even had our coordinator show up when we'd forgotten she was coming and the dust bunnies were fighting with the scattered toys spread thick all over the carpet. She didn't bat an eye.
Well, they've come and gone and we all survived, so I guess it's okay. So thank you, addax, for your reassurance. DD does qualify for services, just barely, and only because I think the evaluators kinda exaggerated her issues a bit. Like I said that sometimes she swallows her food whole, but they put down that she never chews. That kind of thing. I think it's because she had to be delayed in two areas in order to qualify, so she wasn't going to get the speech therapy unless she also had feeding problems, so they kinda colored the feeding issues a little more highly in order to help us qualify. I'm not sure how to feel about that. Now I have two things to feel badly about instead of just one.

What really kills me is that since they left a half hour ago, DD learned to say two new words AND chewed her pasta at lunch. It's almost like she KNEW and was just waiting until afterward to show me that she could do it.

This is really hard. A part of me wishes that we never did it; I know in my heart and gut that DD is fine, and that she's just coming along at her own pace. None of what's in the report that these people left really rings true with me. I only agreed to have her evaluated because my pediatrician suggested that "it couldn't hurt, even though she's probably fine" and I fully expected to be told that DD was fine.

I guess it can't hurt to let them come once a week and try and help her, though.

I dunno. Please help me process this because I don't know what to think.
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Even for those of us who already have a diagnosis from elsewhere, or are firmly convinced that everything is NOT fine and we would be outraged if our child did not qualify for services because we know they are needed, it is very very emotionally hard to get that evaluation that says services are needed. So, hugs to you, I know how you are feeling. I think it is partly because the evaluation is written in the language of deficit, in terms of what your beautiful vital child lacks, rather than in terms of her strengths and character and personhood.

It might help to remember that the evaluation is a document designed to demonstrate a need for services. The evaluators know that your dd is so much more than what it says, just as you do.

Maybe your dd won't be in therapy for very long. But I bet she will really enjoy it and get a lot out of it: there's plenty of benefit to be had, even if she doesn't 'really' need it: if nothing else, it can be an enrichment activity and it will certainly stretch her and help her grow. It's not as though you're putting her through invasive testing for dubious benefits, or something even more difficult like that. She should really enjoy her therapy.

I hope that helps a little.
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whoops, wrong spot
Please remember that you can stop services at any time -- or even decide not to start. If you truly think this is not the right path, then don't feel like you have to continue on it. Like the pp said, therapy at this stage is usually fun for kids, so if you are uncertain and want to just try it, it will be okay.

On another note, all of my kids were significantly delayed when we started EI, but they also gained skills the day of the appointment. My youngest was 14 months old, and he still wasn't rolling over, sitting up, or crawling. In the middle of discussing this at the EI appointment, he suddenly rolled over and started crawling (only 2 or 3 "steps" before he face-planted, but still . . .) We all laughed, and the EI people said that it was a common experience -- Murphy's Law or something that causes kids to do whatever you were worried about as soon as you start getting help.

Also remember that you can take some time to organize your thoughts before you decide what you want to do. I've always been encouraged to take a few days to process before making a decision.

Take care,

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