Thursday, June 7, 2012

Standardized Tests suck

I hate evaluations.  Just hate them.

Tuesday, Danny endured 2 hours of testing with the school psychologist while the rest of us got to play in a playground on the most beautiful day of the summer.  He was technically due for this testing in the Fall, but I pressed the school to do it sooner so we'd be better prepared for next school year.  The psychologist decided doing it during summer break might be best and I agreed.

Danny was far more cooperative than I could have ever hoped for.  I expected a lot of complaining and frustration.  After all, it's summer vacation.  Who wants to go to school to take tests during summer?

No one.  That's who.

Well, the results from all the testing came today, and I'm feeling really blue.  I can't quite explain it.  There were no surprises, really.  But it's never nice to see--in black and white--all the areas in which Danny is below average.

The kid is smart.  Wicked smart, but he cannot seem to express that intelligence in any way that is measurable by standardized tests.  Frankly, I loathe these tests.  I've never found them incredibly reliable, even when I was a teen--I happen to test pretty poorly myself, not unlike Danny.

So, I'm blue.  And tired.  So, so tired of all these people--people who really know nothing of my son--telling me all the ways he falls short.  All the things he struggles with.  All the areas in which he is delayed.

I'm so tired of the implication (whether intended or not) that I have missed something as his mother.  That I haven't given him all he needs.

And I'm so tired of all the recommendations.  The lists and lists of things we should do to help Danny.  Don't get me wrong.  I want to help him.  I really do. And we do so, so much, believe me.  But I can never quite manage it all.  How do I fit in all the homework and exercises that his teachers, speech therapist, occupational therapist and social worker all think are necessary?  When can we just play with him rather than figuring out the therapeutic benefit of a particular activity?

I am so very tired of a system that only measures my son's weaknesses, never his strengths.  This system is so screwed up it makes me want to weep with frustration.  And I'm terribly tired of reading the results of tests and wondering what this means for his future.  Will he be able to hold a job?  Live on his own?  Do these results somehow indicate what his future holds?

So, I'm in a funk and have no sense of humor today, even despite the delectable picture of Ryan supplied by Sunday.  I almost opted out of Special Needs Ryan Gosling this week, but decided not to.  So, here's my very un-funny poster.

Please check out the other bloggers who are participating this week.  Just click on Ryan below.  I can guarantee their posts will be much funnier and more upbeat than mine!


Katie said...

I'm so sorry.

We're due for our testing this fall, I opted to wait only because in our case my little guy usually has huge spurts over the summer, making testing beforehand useless.

I expect to be in a funk come October. :(

I know you've heard it a bazillion times, but your baby is waaay more than those tests could ever show.

You're not alone!!! (and can you please remind me of the above when we get our results back, lol?!)


I know it's easier said than done, but don't let them make you feel that you aren't doing enough as a mom. If your child is behind in any academic way, isn't it THE SCHOOL that's not doing THEIR job? They are the trained "professonals". We are just mom's. Our job is to love, feed, clothe and protect our children. There job is to teach. If your child is behind, ask them what THEY are going to do about it! Don't feel bad or be bullied. You are doing the best you can.

Courtney Barnum said...

Hugs to u!!!! And Ryan is right! Keep ur head up <3

Jim said...

standardized testing for non-standard kiddos is teh suck. Hugs to you!

Flannery said...

We are wallowing in the same pit of despair today, my friend. Rest assured you are not alone in this funk, and I so get how you're feeling. Our kids are so much more than tests and "achievements", we just have to get others to see that.

debi9kids said...

I'm so sorry. I went through this same funk a month ago when I received Wills results in the mail. Heartbreaking.
But, it only took me a day or two to wallow before I just picked myslf up and focused on the kid that I know him to be.
Wallow for a bit and then get there too. (U know u will. We all do.)

Mom2LittleMiss said...

We just got Little Miss's school progress report for the half. I am sooooooo with you right now.

Hang in there. One of these days they will see that it's more than standardized testing. I hope.

BoosMom said...

Standardized testing was ridiculous from its inception. I never could stand it. Big hugs flying your way!

Spectrummy Mummy said...

Oh, I hear you. If ever there was a worse way of judging our kids. I'm blue in the face from telling the schools here that they are wrong, wrong, wrong, about using these methods, but they won't listen. Now, lie back, eats some chocolate, and listen to Ryan tell you all the right things.

Margaret Ruskin said...

Standardized testing is the pits. I don't think there is any child it is beneficial for, let alone one with special needs.

I am so sorry you are blue. But having not even met you I can assure you that you are fabulous and doing all for your child. You see him as so much more than his diagnosis. And if the "experts" cannot see his strengths then they aren't very expert are they.

Stay strong and I hope you have a fun weekend with your child!

jacqui said...

Ryan is right - no test can measure our children. In fact our Ed Psych didn't do an IQ test cos DS is so amazingly able in some areas but has huge discrepancies in his processing ability and other areas. Basically, if he's interested he can learn anything you throw at him. If he's not, there is nothing you can do to make him learn.
I reckon there is no point him being super intelligent if he can't get on a bus by himself, so life skills are a priority for me!

Some skills like sincerity, kindness and the ability to love completely are never mastered by some people - AS or NT. Sounds like your kid is ahead of the game xx

Niksmom said...

I'm sorry for your blueness and frustration. :-( I wish, just once, there were tests to simply capture and quantify all the things our children CAN and DO do. The ways in which they are kicking butt and taking matter how seemingly small.

I know it's cold comfort to remind ourselves that these tests and evals are merely tools to open doors for services, but they are. Make them work to your/your son's advantage if you can.

Sanstrousers said...

Evals make my brain numb.

Elizabeth said...

Those tests --Every Child Left Behind --

The only advice I have, other than empathy, is to blow them off. Pay no mind. Grit your teeth.

I hope you have a happier day tomorrow.

And i love your Ryan Gosling.

Maria D. said...

I agree, these tests SUCK! I always hate getting those manila envelopes in the mail, because even though I'm aware of the delays it's still no fun to see it written out to plainly on paper. And it never fails to have those test results come on a day where a meltdown (or two) occured as well, just to make a complete 'funk' sandwhich. I just want to give you a BIG hug and tell you like Ryan said it will all be okay.(He's right ya know) Ryan really does have a way with words. :)