Results of Psychoeducational Assessments

We received Angel’s results at the end of June.  I’ve taken a few weeks to digest the information and do a little research.

We met with the psychoeducational consultant, the principal, and the resource teacher (I’m not sure of her exact title).  The only one we hadn’t met before was the consultant.  She showed us a graph to display where Angel’s scores fell in relation to the averages.  She told us about the assessed skills and how Angel performed in each task.  She gave us some great information and answered a lot of questions for us too.

Nothing in the assessment was a huge surprise.  We knew what to expect in terms of her school work.  Angel scored in the Average range for reading.  Everything else was Low Average to Below Average.  For things like math, she was working at a late kindergarten level.  Reading was on target, but a few other skills were in the grade 1 to 2 range.

One thing that was a bit of a surprise was that Angel’s working memory is very low.  She doesn’t hold a lot of information at once.  When she told us this, it was  a relief!  This is why she asks the same question over and over!   We know now that Angel needs information in smaller chunks with lots of repetition.  This is something that her teacher was already doing with her, and it will continue on next year’s IEP.

Diagnosis

The overall results indicate that Angel is a slow paced learner.  What does this mean?  It means she can learn, it just takes her longer to absorb the information.  One of the best pieces of information to come out of the meeting for me was when they said that Angel could go to college or university if she wants to.  I know she’s only in grade 4, but to know that she will be able to have a higher education is a big relief.   Ultimately, it will be up to Angel, what she plans to do with further schooling.  I’m just glad the door’s not closed.

So, it’s not a diagnosis to say, “this is what your kid has”.  It really tells us how she learns and how to help her to learn in the best way.  For me, it’s another piece of the puzzle.  We’re getting closer to having a complete answer (maybe).

Next steps

Angel will get a new IEP next year to reflect the information in her assessments.  Much of what has been suggested is what has already been included in this year’s IEP.  We will have an IPRC meeting in mid-September to determine Angel’s status and her best learning options.  We’ve been told the most likely scenario is to keep her in the integrated program at this school rather than move her to program that handles only special needs.  This could change.

The school will also apply for a laptop for Angel to use at school on trial.  If she does well with it and has an increased output, she will keep it and it will be a tool for her to use through high school.

We’ve made a plan with the principal to take Angel in to the school the week before it opens so she can see her classroom and hopefully meet her teacher.  She will be getting a new teacher in the fall who has not yet been hired, so this will be the first chance to meet them.  We’ve done this every year for Angel since grade 1 and it really helps to ease her anxiety the week before school starts.

And there you have it.  Progress :)

End of the Year: Grade 3 has been a success!

Three

It’s a little hard to believe that Angel’s last day of grade 3 was today!  How did this year go by so fast?

Overall, Angel’s had a great year.  She had a teacher that is a true educator.  He really got her from the start.  They clicked and Angel has benefitted from his teaching style. He has celebrated Angel’s successes and supported her learning every step of the way. He hasn’t let her give up on herself or accepted less than her best.

Some of Angel’s favourite things from this year have been the cardboard arcade (inspired by Cain’s Arcade, learning some basic swimming at the same pool she takes swimming lessons, going to a local hockey team’s game, learning how to play badminton, Lego League, helping in kindergarten, reading buddies, making (and keeping a friend), playdates, using technology, breakfast club and running club. There was also learning to play recorder, performing a dance for Southeast Asian History Month, doing a dance for an assembly, and receiving an award for Confidence. And Pokemon. I can’t forget Pokemon. I don’t understand it, but she loves it!

I was really surprised about running club. Angel got involved in this on her own and it turns out she loves running. Running isn’t something that we are into, so I’m really glad that she has found this on her own. We’ll have to get her involved in some form of running this summer.

Breakfast club wasn’t a surprise to me. Angel likes to help. She had fun helping to prepare and serve breakfast for her schoolmates a couple times a month. She especially liked flipping the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Kindergarten helping was something new that Angel’s principal came up with. Angel was having trouble socially with some of her peers, and her principal dealt with it right away. She arranged to have Angel go into a kindergarten class to help out over one nutrition break a day. Angel wanted to go back for the second nutrition break as well, but it was important that she still work on developing her social skills with her own peers. We’ve heard feedback that the kindergarten teachers enjoyed having Angel’s help. Angel told me that she was going to ask her principal if she could help out in kindergarten again next year. That’s what a mom wants to hear :)

We had the results of Angel’s psychoeducational assessments last week. There was a lot of information given to us and I’m still processing it all. I have some research I need to do so that I am sure that I understand everything. I’ll share more another day. The great news is that we have a lot of answers and a plan for next year. We will have an IPRC meeting in the fall and Angel’s IEP will be adjusted to include the new information.

I’m looking forward to summer break. We have some plans made for camping up north and 2 weeks of day camp booked for the girls. The rest of the summer is something we will figure out together. I expect that we’ll have some day trips, probably some library visits, public swims, and lots of time bike riding and being outside.

Grade 3 has been a great year. I’m looking forward to seeing what grade 4 has in store for all of us.

Eyes in the Back of My Head–My Super Power

Image from page 80 of "[Planches enluminées d'histoire naturelle" (1765)

Angel is mischievous.  She’s a curious girl and she gets into her fair share of trouble.   Scratch that, she gets into more than her fair share of trouble.  She’s always into something or trying to figure out how something works, or seeing what she can get away with.

She’s also not very subtle.  Her facial expressions give her away.  When I catch her doing something she doesn’t think I can see, she always asks me how.  I tell her the same thing my mother told me, “I have eyes in the back of my head.”   Here’s the thing–Angel doesn’t question this.  She believes I have an extra set of eyes in the back of my head.  She’s never asked to see them, but she asks about them from time to time.

“When you are sleeping, do the eyes in the back of your head close too?”  I think she’s wondering how I know when she sneaks into my room to sleep.  Of course, it couldn’t be that she climbs over me, lays on top of me, or steals all of the blankets, so the obvious reason is that I really do have eyes in the back of my head.

I told her to go back to bed last week, even though she was behind me and for once I hadn’t heard her come down the stairs.  “How did you know?”  I saw her in the reflection of the television.  “Did you see me with the eyes in the back of your head?” She asks the question as an accusation.  Of course it must have been those silly extra eyes, how else could Mom know?

Part of me feels a little guilty for letting her think that I really have eyes in the back of my head.  The other part is fairy certain that she knows that this is not true.  It’s like a game we play.  Angel pretends to be doing something, and I pretend to see her with eyes I don’t have.  I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I like the sense of mystery or magic about my extra eyes.  I like letting her know that I’m fully aware of what she is up to, even when I don’t see her.  My extra eyes are really the result of knowing her so well.  I know you have snuck out of bed (for the third, fourth or fifth time tonight).  I know you haven’t done the chore that you told me you’ve completed.  I know that you need a quick hug in the middle of the night to make you feel safe.  I know you had a rough day.  I understand that you are worried, nervous, or anxious.  I am here.

So, I think for now, I’ll keep the eyes in the back of my head.