So, Mae took the local school district’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) test on Saturday, February 5, as planned. Kudos to the public school system for running a smooth process — they were organized and on time, for which I’m grateful — and to Mae for being patient and well-behaved throughout the morning. She even described the two-hour test as “kinda fun.” The test results will be mailed to us in about three weeks, and then we wait another three weeks to find out if Mae has been selected in the lottery process for the public TAG school near us. I think it will be easy to the wait for the results because I’m not looking forward to having to decide whether we should actually transfer her to a new school. Going from an environment that we know and trust into the unknown is a scary thought. As I chatted with two other moms who were waiting for the test to finish, one said that she is trying not to think about the money she’ll save if her child transfers from private to public school. Realistically, I think it is scientifically impossible to prevent thoughts of a new car (in her case) or new kitchen (in my case) from entering one’s head. Ultimately, I am confident that Hubby and I will make a decision that will best serve our family over the long-term.
Yesterday, we took Mae for the neuropsychological evaluation that I scheduled back in October 2010. The full-day evaluation assesses attention, concentration, memory, behavior, personality, social skills and intelligence. It can be used to identify autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, developmental and behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, etc. Talking to various teachers and other professionals, and reading and researching in an effort to find explanations for Mae’s occasional defiance, meltdowns, and impaired social skills has at times seemed like opening a series of boxes only to find that the label on the box doesn’t quite describe what you’re holding. We hope that this evaluation will give us a better understanding, if not a label, for what we have.
After the appropriate introductions and rapport-building small talk, the psychologist, Dr. Mike, explained to Mae that she would take some tests that would help him understand how her “brain works.” Then, she was carted out for two and a half hours of testing while Hubby and I stayed with Dr. Mike for the parents’ interview. Despite having filled out no less than four questionnaires prior to the appointment, the doctor managed to think of another 100 (or at least it felt that way) questions to ask. After a lunch break, Dr. Mike spent the last hour and a half of the evaluation interviewing Mae. Once again, she was a real trooper and came out of the interview energetic and smiling.
Dr. Mike was personable, focused, and thorough. He explained at the beginning of the parents’ interview that he is a postdoctoral fellow working under the supervision of another psychologist. During a break, Hubby and I talked about how our first impression had been that he looked too young to be a doctor. I would not place him a day over 25. However, his questions, explanations, and manner conveyed sound knowledge, professionalism and sincerity.
Dr. Mike had actually impressed me before we arrived for the evaluation. He’d called me a week before to ask some background questions. And, I thought, “Wow, someone who looks inside a patient’s chart BEFORE seeing the patient!” So, I think we’re in a good hands. Hubby and I will meet with Dr. Mike again on February 24 to go over the test results. And so, we wait some more. It is at least good to know that some answers are on the way.