Oh, how I hate testing. Let me start with the quick disclaimer that I believe our taxpayer dollars need to be well spent and accounted for which inherently points to the requirement of justifying our spending. blah blah blah blah Let me show you what that looks like on our end.
Aidan gets several different services, or people in his life to help him in different ways. Of course we’re grateful and keenly aware that we couldn’t do this alone. That being said, we have to continue to qualify for these services and every interaction is documented so the state/feds can prove that Aidan is making progress with your money. Hey, thanks for that.
At some point, after we lost services, Aidan had to have an IQ test. This was hideous and awful. The tester was wonderful and did a great job explaining things to me and had a lovely interaction with Aidan. She was quick to say she could see how bright he is; unfortunately, testing only captures so much. Did you know your IQ can suck so bad that it scores as CANNOT BE TESTED? This translates as EPIC FAIL or YOU HAVEN’T DONE ENOUGH FOR YOUR KID or HE’LL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING!
We just took another test last monday. Fortunately, Aidan wasn’t there. It was simply an interview with me. I answered questions for an hour about what he can do. Every test is different. This one only scores him on things he can do independently, with no help whatsoever. Since the tasks get progressively more difficult, if you answer 4 “he can’t do that” in a row, you skip to the next section. That was the gist of my answers. When they asked if he could read and understand 4th grade curriculum, I couldn’t say no, so I gave him an “I don’t know.” Aidan has been exposed to that curriculum so who’s to say he doesn’t understand it? That was the only thing I could throw his way. In the behavior section they asked if he swears. I said, “No, but I’d give him cake and throw him a party if he would.”
There is no room for joy in these tests; no room for positive spin. It’s incredibly discouraging and exhausting. Part of the challenge is that my default mode is to celebrate each of Aidan’s accomplishments and part of it is recognizing that there is some truth in these tests – there is much Aidan cannot do. Like most aspects of Aidan’s life, joy and pain are woven tightly together.