I made waffles for breakfast — it’s my way of making happy start for the day! I made quite tall stack of it, but this was all that was left by the time I thought to take a picture.
We took Immi in for an evaluation. Anyone who knows immi knows that she is a special/eccentric/one-of-a-kind little person. Most obvious of her symptom manifests itself as a “speech delay”. We took her in for an evaluation about a year and a half ago at which point, result was inconclusive with recommendation to see a sensory specialist (for her picky eating) but not speech therapist. Our pediatrician was supportive of wait-and-see approach. Why haven’t I talked about this at loud until now? It’s because I’ve always felt that my blog is surveilled by our nosy relative who never have anything helpful or kind to say about any decisions we make. But this ends now, I shall say what ever I want on my blog since it is mine. And more importantly because I imagine that there are others out there who is going through something similar.
We chose not to put immi through therapy and or school 1.5 years ago because we thought that it would be more harmful than helpful. I’m very pleased to say, in the past year, she has made huge progress. She is now very co-operative with adults who are trying to helping her (at doctors offices, or even at dentists), she has learned to play nice with other kids, and will eat foods she doesn’t enjoy eating with encouragement. Even her language is making very good progress. And because she is doing much better, we are thinking that she might be ready for more, which is the reason why we took her in again for an evaluation so that we can best figure out our next course of action. We strongly believe in helping our kids become who they are, let them be who they are, without crushing their strength, creativity, and imagination. Lets face it, classrooms aren’t designed very well for this. We wanted immi to have stronger sense of self before we threw her into all of that.
The evaluation consisted of about 2 million questions many of which are probably useful, but others completely stupid. It’s just one of many hoops what Immi (and actually, at this point — us, as her parents) have to jump through. The most ridiculous part of the test was when the points were taken off because the evaluator sang the first few phrases of “ABC” song (soul-lessly and anyhow horribly) and Immi won’t imitate it. She just pretended like it never happened. I wanted to say “You know, if you LOOKED and SOUNDED a bit more like La Roux, Imogen Heap, or Lady Gaga, she will not only sing it back to you with words [and in tune!] but complete with dance moves. Why on this beautiful earth would she choose to imitate YOU?” But I kept my mouth shut. Because I’m a responsible adult. Besides, the evaluators were nice enough, they are just doing their jobs.
And then there was another strange question that said “Can your child effectively style her own hair?” Of course she can brush her own hair. Will she look like she walked out of $500 hair appointment? Probably not. But then most adults would fail this question too.
And another weird question was “Does your child not enjoy eating foods other kids generally enjoy eating?” There’s so much wrong with this question that it made me speechless.
On the whole, the evaluators seemed hung up on the bit where I admitted that Immi is a very picky eater and has well defined preference for music. From these little statements, they have concluded that she has problem with “textures” and extreme sensitivity to sounds — no matter how many times I tried to explain otherwise. What I mean is that Immi loves blueberries fresh from the farm, but she won’t eat ones from grocery store (probably because they are flavorless having been picked before ripe!). Immi loves woodfired pizza, but she won’t eat ones from mediocre pizzerias. Immi loves breast portion of rotisserie chicken, but she won’t willingly eat any other preparation of chicken, breast or not. …How is this a textural issue?? As for over-sensitivity to sounds (she isn’t) I don’t see how it’s problematic that she doesn’t enjoy listening to music that sucks in her opinion (she lets us know either by asking us to change it, or looking very very bored). The problem, I think, with these tests is that there’s only few conclusion that they are supposed to come to. And so if a child — like Immi — doesn’t fit into one of these few options, they just bend every evidence to fit their assumed conclusions.
…And so our battle begins. One in which we stand up for Immi, while we help her learn to navigate through this silly world. Thus we start our day with some happy waffles.