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It’s What They Leave Out of Evaluations That Matter Most

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My son is different from other children.

He has a diagnosis.

He has evaluations to outline his level of functioning and highlight his deficits.

The other children don’t have that.  They fit neatly into the box labeled “typical”.

The other day, we were in a store, and passed a woman in a wheelchair.  Connor asked me, quietly, why the woman was in a wheelchair.

“Well, I’m not sure, but either she has a disease or injury that makes her legs not work, or maybe she was born without the use of her legs.”

Connor’s only response was, “Oh.”  He was quiet for a moment.

But then, the familiar surge of extreme energy coursed through his body, he began to wriggle and smile, and his eyes brightened with a thought.  He let go my hand and blurted out, “I’m gonna go hold the door for her and be a helper!”  And off he went.

From several feet away, I heard him say, “I like your wheelchair.  I’ll hold the door for you!”

My son is different from other children.

He accepts people who are different from him.

It’s too bad the evaluations don’t highlight that.


About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

20 responses »

  1. He is special! They all are…

  2. Pity about autism and how it erases empathy. . .

  3. Connor is so awesome! I love him. And you for highlighting what is important. How many people read that eval? How many people read the blog? If it really bugs you, though, add it into the eval by telling every story you think is important at the time to the evaluator and making sure they include it!! It has worked for me- so far. xoxo

    Had to shout it. You have an amazing young man there.

  5. That is an amazing story, and you are so right. Our kids are so much more than what the assessments show they can’t do.

  6. This? Awesome. Just like your son. Well, *almost* as much as your son. 🙂

  7. Amen, mama.

    no, i’m not CRYING. *sniff* just..just something in my eye… *sob*

  8. What a great kid you’ve got there!

    Our district does allow a section for strengths in the IEP..and we make sure our boys’ caring and considerate natures are highlighted. I’d ask them to include examples of Connor’s outstanding acceptance of diversity.

  9. And there is no shame in offering or accepting help. Very nice indeed.

  10. I love this!! My son is the same, he is so accepting and just seems to naturally ‘get’ other people with challenges.

  11. *Sniff Sniff* Darn allergies…yeah that’s it, allergies. Seriously though, that’s one amazing little boy you’ve got there.

  12. I have said this before and I will say it again—I love your Connor.

  13. This is so! awesome! And true, evaluations can leave out the most awesome stuff. Also, **lol** @ Jim and the lack of empathy comment!!

  14. WOW! OMG this brings a tear to my eye (not an easy thing to do I might add). *sigh*

  15. Goosebumps. I love it! We had something similar happen before with Ashlyn. She was trying to describe a girl from her school to me and she told me everything about her except for the fact that she was in a wheelchair because to her that part didn’t matter at all. Love our kids.

  16. Connor ROCKS! Our kids could teach others a thing or two.

  17. Hurray for his PARENTS ! Children are only as good as the Family that raises them. I am sure GOD in the house and Sunday dinners with an early to bed , early to rise attitude is responsible for his elevated social skills. Way to go MOM and DAD ! GOD Bless ….GOD !


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