This year, I expressed that I would like the district to consider an Out-of-District placement for Emily in order to meet her unique needs. A life skills type program with an emphasis on developing communication, socialization, and independence.
Let the evaluations and testing begin……
They start by observing her in the classroom setting. Emily did not like that one little bit. She made sure they knew it by screaming or throwing the testing items. She just wasn’t interested.
They also review her educational history, use teacher input, the Wechsler Nonverbal Scale of Intelligence & the Vineland-II Adaptive Behavior Scales.
Basically, on paper, Emily is a sweet bundle of incapability and it’s easy to lose yourself in the reports as you read that your child falls within the extremely low range of intelligence according to her score of 33 out of 106. She is educationally classified as Multiply Disabled and she receives special education services in a self-contained PDD program. Emily receives speech/language services, physical therapy, and occupational therapy as part of her education program.
So that’s Emily. She knows what she wants, but doesn’t always know how to get it without screaming and crying….despite attempts with various communication methods. She can’t take care of herself but she can navigate her way through an iPad better than most Microsoft employees.
Because she’s awesome like that.
Emily is a girl who loves music and watching movies. Continuously. Seriously, she can watch the same movie for 6 months straight. She also loves looking at books & making her stuffed animals kiss each other.
What defines my daughter is not an intelligence test. Or her ability to pay attention when something isn’t interesting to her.
It’s her connection with God and her love for life.
It’s her sweet smile and her ability to make you feel like the most loved person on earth without even saying a word.
It’s a process.