By Kim Stagliano
Got your attention, did I? Yes, I'm sipping a glass of homemade Italian wine that could strip wallpaper, but I'm as sober as a judge. Mike Judge. No, really, I am.
Quick Friday post here. Reality check. Autism stinks. Autism lies. Autism smothers the true person inside. In this case, my gorgeous, bright, happy, chatty, calendar perseverating Gianna. She's 20 and in eval time at school. Here's the deal. I have what we call a PPT here in CT this morning. Part of our meeting is to review a psych eval. Can I tell you something?
PSYCH TESTS BLOW!!!!
Hmmmm, maybe that last gulp of wine was not necessary.
Let me try again.
PSYCH TESTS BUY US SERVICES!
From Gianna's psych eval for a meeting today:
Reason for Referral:
Gianna was referred for her triennial evaluation by the Planning and Placement Team to assess her current levels of functioning in order to determine continuing eligibility for special education and related services. Gianna currently receives special education and related services as a student with Autism. Gianna will be turning 21-years-old in the 2017-2018 and will age out of school based services. This evaluation will also aid in developing transition services for Gianna.
Gianna is a twenty-year-old girl currently in the Elite Program, a community based program offered through XYZ Public Schools that offers transitional services, community experiences, and vocational training for students with disabilities aged 18-21.
Gianna willingly participated in the evaluation, which took place over one session at the ABC Building. The assessment was completed without the use of language. Gianna was cooperative with each task. She was given a break after each subtest where she was able to use her iphone as requested. The assessment was completed in about 30 minutes. Gianna was able to complete each task without any frustration noted. Rapport had been previously established, as she and the examiner are familiar with each other.
Summary and Conclusions:
Gianna is a twenty-year-old woman in the Elite program. She is currently classified under the exceptionality of Autism. The results of this current evaluation will aid in determining the appropriate program for Gianna going forward.
Gianna was administered the UNIT-2. Based on the results of this assessment, Gianna exhibited strength in the area of Symbolic memory. The area of Spatial Memory appeared to be a relative weakness for Gianna. She demonstrated overall cognitive skills in the very delayed range.
As rated by her parents, Gianna obtained a score of 62 on the General Adaptive Composite. Her true score is likely to fall within the range of 58-68 at a 95% level of confidence. Relative to individuals of comparable age, Gianna is currently functioning at the 1st percentile and her overall level of adaptive behavior can be described as being in the Extremely Low range of functioning.
WHAT????? (Slurps wine.)
In my house of 3 girls with autism, Gianna is Einstein meets Lady Gaga. She talks. She's funny. She can read. She can do basic math. Psychometry has yet to wraps its head around autism. There are FEW if any tests that show our kids' value, strengths, ability. They test like the silt at the bottom of the wine cask. It's tragic. It's depressing. It buys me services for her.
Is she severely affected by her Hep B at birth induced autism? Hell yes. Is she one step above a doorstop????? NO. NO. NO.
I'll go to the meeting. Gianna will get services. I'll smile. The team will smile. And I will weep inside.
This was not Gianna's destiny. Vaccine injury took her future. End of story.
Sorry for whining. Where's the wine....
Kim is Managing Editor for Age of Autism.