We had Cooper's speech evaluation from the school district, and it was kind of a mess.
We told the evaluator when we first met her that Cooper understood everything we said to him but was a very reticent communicator with people he doesn't know, that he is shy, and that it takes him awhile to warm up to people.
She assured us that she would spend 3 hours with us spread over 3 separate visits to get everything she needed.
Imagine our surprise when she closed up her bag of random objects that she was holding up for him to name 24 minutes into her first visit and said the evaluation was over and he would clearly qualify. Then she looked at him, pouted, and said in a baby voice, "He can barely make any sounds, huh?" with a pitying inflection.
I was SHOCKED and heartbroken (not that he qualified for services-- the kid is 2.5 and rapidly being surpassed by his chatty baby sister) and then angry. His poor feelings! He looked so crushed! He was talking so much!
Little Cooper was TRYING SO HARD. It is not his thing to talk to a stranger, and as I explained to you guys AND TO HER, he has never been a kid who parrots back anything. But there he was saying airplane! and horse! and whinnying like a horse unprompted! He didn't know what a yo yo was, but he tried to say it (she looked at us like we were idiots when I said hes never seen one before). She was also stunned that he could not name a wind-up miniature music box, which WTF? The kicker was when she held up a plastic spoon an fork and said "What are these? Which one will you say first?"
And Cooper replied clearly "First."
The she said in a high-pitched voice, "Okay, now say the other one," and then in a slightly lower pitch she asked me "Which one did he just say?"
"First," I told her flatly, "He said first."
She made a little huh sound as if she had no idea why he would respond so inappropriately, forgetting, I guess, that she had JUST SAID "say first."
Then she said the stuff about the eval being over and him not having any sounds.
I protested her quick decision and said he actually talks much more but he's just warming up, and she told me she has been around the block and knows when a kid is going to qualify. I just GAPED.
She said we could either have in-home services once a week starting when he turns 3, or he could come to a drop-off articulation class at a nearby school. Then she asked if he was potty-trained, and I said no. She made a really surprised and also pitying moue and said "Oh, how close is he?"
"We haven't started," I told her.
She clucked her tongue at me.
SHE CLUCKED HER MOTHER FUCKING TONGUE AT ME.
Potty training is not a developmental milestone-- it's a parenting philosophy. Me and Ben = lazy parents. We always potty train between 2.5 and 3. In fact, Cooper has been initiating successful trips to the potty lately, and we always ask him if he wants to sit on the potty, and we have SO MANY POTTY BOOKS. My point is, STOP JUDGING ME, LADY. His toilet habits are not only totally normal, they are also totally NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.
But I didn't say that. I just told her that I am concerned about his preschool transition because he is so shy and I thought in-home services would be best. But I didn't say this in front of Cooper because I am not an asshole who hurts babies' (I assume this is not the first evaluation she has handled with shocking rudeness) feelings.
Ben called the director the program and explained how terrible things were, making it clear that we are thrilled to have services-- we are not protesting the labeling of our snowflake, but we hate how the evaluation went.
Then, awkward sauce, I got a call while feeding Dorothy dinner at Whole Foods (well, sitting with her while she ate and having a salad snack-- having dinner with Dorothy, I guess is how I should say it) and I answered it thinking it was a student, but it was the evaluator calling to say her boss wants her to wipe the slate clean and start the evaluation process from scratch. Erm. Who does that help?
Ben and I are working on how to handle it. Do we have her come back? Just meet her for the IEP like she wanted initially? IDK.
My mom suggested that before she comes in this time, I need to remind her that Cooper understands what she says and tell her she can't come into his house and hurt his feelings again. I think this a good call.
I talked to Cooper's doctor and got another speech path referral, too, and we are going to pursue private options if we need to before his district services start.
The bottom line is that we want services OF COURSE. But this evaluation was terrible.
I'd like to find a way to wrap this up, but I am at the library and still need to go to target before putting Dorothy down for her nap, so