Observer Effect

So as I mentioned earlier this week, R went in for his two-year evaluations as part of the studies that he’s in.

We’ve had him evaluated by Infants and Toddlers before, due to concerns about where he’s felt “laggy” to us on his skills… and we were generally assuaged that he’s fine, though that we could certainly work harder with him on some things.  In the time since then, he’s developed into quite the regular chatterbox and relatively normal child.

And then he goes to these evaluations… which aren’t really quite as accurate, if you ask me.

Children are weird creatures, as any parent can tell you.  They’ll do things in school or therapy that they’ll never do in front of you… and vice versa.  In this case, the wife came home from the two screenings with a few cautions of things for us to keep our eyes on, such as whether R responds to others calling his name, or if he gets obsessed with things to the point of distraction, or that he doesn’t necessarily bring over things to show them to the adults…

To me, of course he’s going to respond differently when some stranger is trying to guide him through tasks, at the age of two.  He’s not aware of why he’s doing things, but that he’s in a new environment with SO! Many! New! Things! to see and touch and examine.  He’s going to not quite respond the way they want him to, when he’s clearly going to have other things to keep his mind busy…

I think that’s part of why I do like the surveys that come with these forms, so we can inform them of things that he’s doing in front of us.  The words he uses, the way he acts, when he’s in a more normal environment.  (Better, honestly, might be setting up a video camera in the home, so that he can be recorded being ‘normal’ in his home environment.)  On the other hand, they aren’t quite sounding alarm bells yet – no one’s worried that R is on the spectrum from what anyone’s saying – but it’s “something for us to watch”.

There has to be a better way to keep an eye on this, from the professional side…

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