So yesterday was a day we had been waiting for for a long while. We got the results of Iris's educational assessment. Backing up a bit, I should mention how we got to that point in the first place.
Last fall I was getting so frustrated and felt like everywhere I turned I wasn't getting any real help for Iris. We had a therapist who couldn't help her and a psychiatrist who simply wanted to medicate her. Great. I turned to the internet and found a message board for parents of children who had, well, issues. I posted an intro about myself and our situation and immediately began getting feedback. Several people said "she needs a neuropsych evaluation to make sure her issues don't have underlying causes" to which I said "what now?!" and blew it off. So then I became more anxious and asked the psychiatrist about it and he referred us to a local agency that does that sort of testing. I called, the man I spoke with was extremely helpful and extremely nice, but I knew we didn't have the money to cough up for the tests. I figured out that we could use save a bit on the testing by using 2012's FSA money for it and signed Iris up to be tested first thing in January. We went in two separate days and were there just under two hours each day.
That brings us to yesterday, sitting at a table in a stuffy office staring at Iris's test results. This is where it gets a little tricky for me, as I want to respect Iris's privacy just a wee little bit so I am not going to break it all down here in public, but suffice to say we got some really, really important information about Iris that is going to help us tremendously when it comes to figuring out what the next steps are for her schooling and what kind of support she needs. It might have taken years of trial and error to have figured this out, if we ever did, and I am so grateful that we decided to do the testing.
Last night when I was on the phone with my mom filling her in on the news she said, "well, do you think this is good news or bad?" and I had to stop and think. I mean, yes, overall, very good news to have an answer. But "bad" news in that, wow, we have so much work to do! I am already panicking because so many schools already have the ball rolling for next year-- in fact, a few of the private schools I looked up already have an application deadline that has passed.
I have said for a while that I would happy to keep homeschooling Iris if that was the right thing for her, but I am not so sure I am really the right teacher for her anymore. I can teach to an assigned curriculum pretty well, but I have zero idea how to teach to a kid who has abilities outside of the norm on top of having issues that interfere with her ability to learn in the first place.
For sure the one thing I know I will be doing is focusing more heavily on math for a while. Iris's tests showed that she had a gap between what she is capable of doing and what she is doing, most likely because she hates math and it is BORING for her. I am going to focus more on her new math curriculum and see if that helps. If not, I am going to be scrambling for yet another math curriculum for her. Um, yay? Guess where she gets her disdane for math from????
I do keep meaning to update on the other fun things we are doing and really hope to get back to doing that soon. I will probably start peppering this blog with tales of our journey in to getting Iris in to the right school program, as well. The excitement never ends around here!