Assessing Progress

Next week is a meeting with the IEP chair (or, rather, her surrogate, as she should be off on maternity leave) to discuss the Monster’s triennial assessments.

So far, we’ve only gotten the educational assessment, but I’m not terribly surprised.  As long as I have time to read them before the meeting and formulate some responses, I’ll be satisfied.

Going into this cycle, we knew that the Monster was doing alright academically – he came into the program knowing how to count and to identify letters in English.  He has been doing his homework at night, and we’ve been getting reports back from the school that he’s doing alright there as well.

So this report says that, except for oral communication, he’s on track for his age (or even slightly above average).  This isn’t really a shock to us – we’ve already known that his communication skills are the biggest issue facing him with his Autism, and everything else was “okay”.  He has a significant deficit, but I’d have to look at prior reports to see if the gap is staying the same, widening or shrinking.

It’s when I dig into the report, though, that I’ll admit that I’m concerned.  Maybe… I’m just setting the bar a bit high.

Certainly, sight-word recognition is a step forward from where he was, and is a step beyond letter recognition.  But certain aspects of the report – mentioning that he doesn’t do sound deletion from words (think of giving someone the word ‘eyes’ and telling them to drop the ‘s’), or that he’s still not grasping the idea of rhyming words – makes me wonder either if the standards are too low, or if we’re just being too critical with regards to what’s being taught. Or, the fact that the written expression subset, which supposedly “measures a student’s ability to write responses to engaging stories or situations” seems not to have covered anything beyond his ability to write letters or his name.

The other thing that jumped out at me was mentioning how he handled the test environment itself.  He’s still not able to focus for long periods of time – requiring rewards to keep him placated and redirection from self-distracting behaviors – and I don’t know what that would bode for the idea of returning him to our local zone school.  If he’s going to get re-integrated into a regular school, these kinds of things are going to be a problem.

I’m sure that the school has some ideas on how they’re going to get past the other issues, but I’m curious given this report as to what their take on the matter is.

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