We had Ryan's IEP meeting, his Triennial. This time, he had Many, Many more tests, including an DAS (an I.Q. type test) and a battery of physical, emotional and scholastic testing.
When I sat down for the meeting, I was surprised at the number of people there. Luckily, I brought our private SLP, who is a Director of one of a hospital therapy groups; she has gone back into private practice one half day a week to sharpen her skills. Ryan is her only patient. We grabbed all of her available time, at the urging of our former SLP.
The 4 main therapists and the school director did the talking at first. They hit on Ryan's strong points, which are many. During a pause in the conversation, I quipped "WoW! You guys are saying so many great things, but I have a feeling you're leading up to some big whammy.... ?"
With that, the school psychiatrist stood up. She went over the basis for the test, stating the range of errors, the fact that Ryan was three DAYS over 66 months so they had to use the 66-71 month age group for all his testing, which meant he was being compared to children much older than he actually is. She handed me Ryan's IQ test, and handed out 2 copies for the other groups to share. One of the therapists said "OH MY GOD!" I yelled "WHAT?! WHAT?!"
My little Ryan scored 138 on the nonverbal portion of the test.
My little Ryan scored 53 on the verbal portion of the test.
The school has never seen that wide a split in the 2 areas of testing.
Having a difference of TWENTY POINTS means a child has a learning disability.
Ryan has a split of 85 points.
The therapists quickly grouped together and talked. They quickly agreed, based on the results of weeks of testing, that he is hard wired for the DAS results. ie - he's not going to suddenly start talking like his peer group, even though he can read and write circles around them now. He is ephasic in alot of output. Which means, he was either oxygen deprived in utero or at birth; suffered a stroke at some point, or he was put together a bit wrong when his brain halves joined. Would an MRI point it out? Probably. So, we'll do a neural psych test and an MRI when he's nearer to 7.
The school district has no idea how they are going to teach him. He is going to suffer huge consequences as he's putting language together incorrectly - from his extreme visual acuity, not from phonemic awareness and correct building blocks. I am now researching like mad to figure out which school can best meet his needs. Or do I just figure out what learning method is best from him and hire tutors to teach him? I don't know.
I new there was a reason he was unlabelable in his learning disabilities. I just had no idea how huge it was.
When the boys are in bed, I have cried rivers. Not that I am sorry for myself - but for my beautiful, loving, smart son! What a cross he has to bear. At times like this, I question what kind of God would strike such a gentle spirit with such a mean blow.
And I am telling NO ONE here about Ryan's difficulties. He is what he is. I don't want parents alluding to the RainMan in our midst. We will just get him all the best help we can.
The most touching thing is how the Therapist Alert system went into overdrive. Every therapist we've ever known has called and come over to smooch Ryan and pat my hand. And tell me "Oh, He's going to be FINE! You just watch our Ryan go!" Which makes me sob tears of gratefulness, but the layer of fear on my soul is huge. I am never afraid, of anything. I have faced the Devil and won.
But this? This is our most difficult journey yet.
Please think good thoughts for Ryan. And maybe keep a teeny slice of your heart positive for him. He is so good, so kind, so very dear.