The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Evaluations - Only a Snapshot

I always say that having Hailey challenges me in ways nothing else has.  I know, some of you are thinking that is a given.  Not in the ways you think.  I'm a chatty person and know few strangers, but for the most part am very much a wallflower.  I prefer to blend in the background and fly under the radar.  As I've said before, that doesn't happen with Hailey.  She loves to be the center of attention.  She wants everyone to notice her and everyone to acknowledge her. 

I am very OCD, type A person.  I like to have control.  I would rather do something myself and do it the way I want it done, when I want it done than ask someone else to do it and not do it the "right" way.  I guess I should apologize to my children.  It might be hard to be one of my children.  I've gotten better over the years with the boys.  Beds don't have to be perfect, the bathroom doesn't have to be spotless when the boys clean get the picture.  I have come to realize that my children are not "miniature adults"...they will learn to do it my way correctly in time :-)

With Hailey, there are so many things that make me anxious and that I have learned to give up control.  If I could will that little girl into things, she would be ahead of her brothers.  Not really, but you get the point.  I've learned to work with the way Hailey learns and the time that it takes her to learn things.  Yes, there are points of frustration, but I know it is out of my hands.  Just as I can't "make" Brayden and Ian score perfectly on everything at school.  One thing I'm not sure I can ever be comfortable with is sitting through Hailey's evaluations.  I know the boys have taken standardized tests and we've seen the results.  Those are different.  It is very difficult to sit and watch a group of people present Hailey with a task.  You want to do it for her.  You want to coach her.  You can't.  You sit there and watch your child "fail" in the eyes of the facilitator.  She did it to the best of her ability and I know that is what is important and for us to work on that activity.  It is just so hard to sit there and do nothing. 

I think part of it is that as parents we feel it is a direct reflection on us and on our parenting.  That we have failed our child.  Some of it was my fault.  Does Hailey use utensils to eat?  Yes, sometimes.  We have 3 children.  Two of them have sports, religion classes and music lessons that fall after school....after dinner.  As much as I want to give Hailey free reign to make the largest mess possible while learning to master her utensils, I don't have the time every night to give Hailey a full bath before we head out the door.  Is Hailey drinking out of a straw cup, open cup or sippy cup?  Sometimes, I answered.  The OT rattled off a dozen cups to try.  I looked at my developmental therapist and laughed.  She followed with, "They own every brand and type of cup made."  It is a battle that we are taking baby steps on.  So, is my fault.  I choose my battles daily with all three children.  Some days I have more energy to push her cups and other days pushing her to walk and climb are enough, can't I just let her have her bottle.  It makes her happy.  Some of the things Hailey was tested on, she simply has not mastered yet not matter how hard she tried.

It is difficult to have people evaluate your child and categorize them.  For them to tell you what age your child "performed" when you know it isn't her current age.  I know some who do not have a child with a learning disability, this won't make sense.  I should already know that she is delayed, right?   It doesn't soften the blow.

 While I dreaded today's evaluation and had a difficult time watching Hailey perform/not perform, I'm not dwelling as I have in the past.  Those evaluations are just a snapshot into who Hailey is.  They don't record how receptive and social Hailey was with a new OT in the room.  It doesn't evaluate Hailey's curiosity and persistence.  It doesn't show how far Hailey has come or how hard she works.  It doesn't answer "who" Hailey is.  Only those who know and love Hailey, can answer that. 

The parts of Hailey that the evaluation doesn't show....

Sneaking brothers' food when he isn't looking

This really shows nothing, but we were laughing at her lack of fashion that night.

Searching the ads for good sales

Getting a "few" diapers for a diaper change

Playing the drums to go along with the music she was listening to


Giving me her opinion when I asked her to do something

Love that smile! 

Hailey is always the first to volunteer to help unload the dishwasher.

Taking her baby and Minnie for a walk about the house.

Yes, I really need to get her off that bottle....

Finally a picture of her beautiful face without it being all scrunched up!!!


  1. Spot on in that it is just a snapshot. I don't think there will ever be a point where i can sit comfortably through an evaluation. Yes I know she is delayed but it is still hard to hear it, observe it. Love the Hailey pics. I need a sleeping one !

  2. I can't tell you how many evaluations I left in tears. It is so difficult to hear what you child isn't doing....when so much of your time and energy is focusing on what they ARE doing. So many times I wanted to shout at them all the stuff Abby did at home and how wonderful she really is.

    You are so right to remember that it is a moment in time - and sometimes, with Abby, the evaluations weren't her best moments. I completely understand and feel for you, no matter what, it is still difficult to hear.

    I LOVE all the pics! She's such a happy little peanut!

  3. There is just so so much evaluations can't show. I've read a handful of posts that are on the subject of ableism lately that really have me thinking. Not to the point where I can articulate it well, or that I have even formed a coherent perspective, but... it's making me really evaluate the importance that we place on milestones, and performing at an "appropriate" developmental level. I mean, really? It sounds so right to place less emphasis on how well our children perform and their abilities. But it's hard. As much as I want to say I don't really care about what her abilities are, I still want to see her have meaningful relationships in her community and with her peers. So it's hard to let go of that. But I am going to try and work on it. Try not to worry so much about when and try to really know in my heart that she will do things when she is ready. I know it to be true, so why does is it still hard sometimes?

    And your little girl... man! Look at her! Our girls are so much more than what it shows on a piece of paper.

  4. I feel like we may be the same person haha...your description of yourself could definitely be about me also! I'm glad I'm not the only control freak out there!:)

    You also totally nailed the whole "eval" process. It's so hard not to take it personally, and to just take the data and move on. SO HARD.

    Hailey is getting so big, and so beautiful, and is SUCH a ham!!!