Thursday, May 26, 2011

Testing, testing, testing, testing

Yesterday, The Boy had some intelligence tests done at the Children's Institute (the place where he has his physical therapy and where Grandma works). We did this at Grandma's request, because she wants a baseline in case hearing-related issues or other therapy-related issues arise. We got out of bed nice and early, and I threw the boys into the stroller for the nice uphill walk to the building. Mum was at work, so I brought the little one with us.

The Boy went into the first round of testing, which was with a wonderful, grandmotherly lady, while we spoke with the psychologist. She asked questions about his development and chemo treatments and handed us a big stack of paperwork to fill out. We had from 9-12 set aside for the testing, which seemed quite excessive to me.

I was asked my opinion for the testing, when I told them that this was a Grandma-inspired thing. After I gave my wise guy answer, I was asked to clarify. The truth is, I don't really have an opinion about it. I haven't lived through raising a kid with special needs as he enters the educational system, certainly not like Grandma has (that's her profession and training, after all). I felt that if she felt a need for it, then there probably was a good enough reason for me to agree to non-intrusive testing. As an experienced and talented educator, I know how often I make a decision that I initially call a gut decision; inevitably, the reason for that decision becomes quite clear. It might not be for a couple of years, but the reasons become apparent. Sometime I'm wrong, but mostly not; trusting intuition means trusting the training, reading, and practice that has been drilled into me after years of experience. So, while I wasn't thrilled to be heading to the Children's Institute for a day's worth of testing, I certainly acknowledge that it is probably the right thing to do.

The first lady testing visual stuff: puzzles, acuity, recognition, that sort of thing. As expected, he tested out as a visual learner (like me) and tested off the charts (like me). He's far ahead of his chronological age in this regards. The second part of the testing was academic stuff: recognizing shapes, letters, numbers, spoken words, that sort of thing. He started that, then came outside with Little Bear and me and took a nice break for some playing and a snack. Afterwards, he did another half hour and was done done done with the testing. He tested average on his verbal skills (as expected) and above average with the other academic stuff, based on the extremely preliminary results. The real results will come after we've filled out the paperwork describing his developmental milestones and the psychologist has had time to study all results.

He didn't finish the entire battery of tests, but that's okay. He wasn't expected to finish them; he's just a little baby! He did quite well for a guy his size, though, and I'm very proud of how he interacted with the adults. The neat thing was watching Little Bear during the last segment of testing, which consisted of some "point to the oval" questions and some shape copying and some path tracing drawing games. Little Bear was absolutely rapt in attention to everything that she did, and he even answered a couple of question before The Boy did! "Oval right there!" was one of the responses, thank you iPad and iPhone shape games.

I'm glad that I have two children who seem to be on the far end of the bell curve, intelligence-wise. I know that they'll be a handful when they're in school and afterwards, but I'm okay with that.

The rest of our day was uneventful: long, long naps for the boys, followed by a new playground, comic books (The Boy asked for a Batman comic, which was nice), chocolate milk, pizza for dinner, a nice bath, and some iPad / iPhone time, stories, and bed. I also filled out some job applications and net some resumes. Should be interesting.

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