Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gus is going to school

The day after Gus' birthday we had him evaluated in the hope of getting him into the public preschool for help with speech.  I hesitate to say Gus is quiet, because anyone who has ever been within 100 feet of Gus knows that is not the case.  But he is on the cautious/shy side and will not bother to talk to you unless he feels comfortable.  And, once he starts talking, it is hard to understand what he is saying.  John is constantly having to interpret for Gus.  I'm sure it is hard to convince kids that adults aren't stupid if kids are constantly having to interpret for each other.

So I took Gus to a specified elementary school where there were a few child psychologists and numerous child "specialists" that evaluated each child.  We were all in the cafeteria.  The parents sat at tables on one end of the room and there were about 25 desks set up throughout the rest of the room.  I believe each child visited 6 desks in the hour they were evaluated.  Between each station the kids were taken to a long table in the center of the room where there were various manipulatives set up.  I thought Gus actually did fairly well for the first 3/4 of the evaluation.  I couldn't hear anything that was going on, but he didn't look to be in any distress.  Near the end he had enough and came over to me crying, saying he wanted to go.  I was able to convince him to go to his very last station before we headed home.

After each child was done, a child psychologist shared pieces of the evaluation with the parent(s).  Now, here comes the shocker.  I actually wanted to Gus to "fail."  I wanted them to accept Gus into the preschool program so he could get help with speech.  And the only way to do that was to have him considered "at-risk" in one area or another.  I figured he would be "at-risk" for speech.  But I was not at all surprised to find out he did horribly in everything but his hearing test.  As the psychologist is pointing to Gus' evaluation sheet, he says, "He can only count to 3, he doesn't know his name or his shapes, he only knows the color blue and he refused to do any of the other tests. But he passed his hearing test and he is pretty athletic.  Our team will go over his evaluation and pass on his info to the school."  After hearing all of this I wanted to lean over to Gus and say I know I wanted you to fail, but could you not have made it seem like I've never worked with you or read to you?  I just smiled at the psychologist, thanked him and took my very "at-risk" child home.

I didn't hear anything from the school for a few months, so I just figured he didn't get accepted.  Now, I know that Gus knows his full name, can count higher than three, knows his shapes and his colors and the like, but they didn't know that.  And, if he didn't get in based on all of that information, how "at-risk" did a child need to be?  Evidently it just takes awhile for all of the information to filter to the school because we just got his acceptance letter last week!  Gus will be starting school in August and I am pretty excited.  Gus is pretty excited as well, which I'm sure will last all the way until I drop him off on the first day.  But we are all excited...excited at the possibility of not using John as an interpreter anymore, at the possibility of understanding Gus after only 3 tries instead of 53, excited at having my little man a little less frustrated...at least where speech in concerned.   I do wonder though, how long it will take his teachers to realize that he knows more than they think he does.  I also wonder how long Gus will stay quiet before emerging from his shell.  But I guess the biggest question is, "who will get into more trouble next year, John or Gus?"

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