As part of getting Sissy evaluated, the developmental pediatrician wants to see her public school evaluation from last year. It's missing (she may have thrown it away to spite me), so I requested another copy from the school. The head of the special education office at the school is great and called today to tell me it's ready for me to pick up. I started asking her about it. I was so ignorant last year and probably in a coma since I was doing four evaluations and IEPs at the same time between four different schools, but when the evaluation said Sissy didn't qualify for special education, I thought it was because she tested too high even when she was below average and low in all categories.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. What it really meant was that she was low. Low enough to qualify for special education. But, and it's a huge but - The evaluators decided, based on their criteria, that she didn't have intellectual deficiency, but that her low scores were because of her poor socioeconomic situation in the orphanage prior to her adoption, therefore, making her ineligible for special education.
The woman today apologized to me. I can have her evaluated again since it's been a year and they would surely see lack of improvement and/or decline (since she's a year older the test would be different). At this point, I'm having my pediatrician refer us directly to the Regional Center and I'm still pursuing an evaluation from a developmental pediatrician.
An entire year has been wasted when I could have been getting my child help and services that would have made a difference to her and our family. I would have done so many things differently for her had I known. At least I started intuitively making some changes a few months ago as I began to suspect things weren't right and I did again pursue evaluating her - thank heavens!
One of my commenters suggested I get the IEP Book, and I did, but it looks like a rocket science manual from NASA. Another commenter suggested hiring an attorney, and that was great advice, but times four, it would have cost too much.
I don't see public school in our future at all, though I'm open to our Regional Center case manager looking into better options than we've experienced so far - a completely different campus for starters, she said. Sissy's special need seems as severe as Blossom's, but in a much different way. Their areas of function and dysfunction are opposite of each other.
I hope I'm wising up now. When one is ignorant, one may not realize it and wouldn't know what questions to ask. That's the scary part.