I just want it known that I was right.
Really, I’m right a LOT. Of course, that is probably because I just don’t give an opinion about something that I don’t know anything about. But when I do have an opinion, it is because I know.
But this time, I was second guessing myself. It is dumb really. I knew all the reasons that I was right; but sometimes, even though I know I’m usually right, I think maybe I’m wrong when a “professional” disagrees with me.
What was it this time?
In April, my foster children were taken into care. They were taken to a children’s shelter where they lived for two weeks. This still surprises me as CPS so could have gotten these children a home within an hour had they made a referral. They could have chosen from many homes.
Okay, so a week after getting to the shelter, a psychologist went to give my oldest foster son a psychological evaluation. It is something done with every child over age three. The goal is to come up with reasonable recommendations, usually something like firm boundaries, patient redirection, play therapy, preschool or school, speech therapy, etc.
So what was wrong with this one? First, it was given a week after the child came into care. Now, I can see why it may be helpful to do it quickly and start putting interventions into place. However, children are typically very stressed out when they come into care so the testing, especially the IQ testing and knowledge evaluations are inaccurate.
Second, the testing was done by a man. My foster children have a strong aversion to men. It has gotten considerably better; but it certainly was rough the first month or two. So that is additional stress playing upon the results.
So then when I’m considering the results of that testing, I pay attention to the fact that the children have progressed SO incredibly much since they’ve been here. It is amazing really. Additionally, various accounts just don’t seem to make sense.
Just for example, Ace was counting 27, 28, 29, 20-10. I corrected him a few times. Finally, he says, 28, 29, 30 and smiles. He continues the pattern with 31, 32, 33… I’m impressed. Pretty good deducing! BUT then he immediately did something else impressive. He gets to 37, 38, 39 and looks to me. I tell him 40. He says, “40! Hey mom, I counted to 40! 40!” He was so incredibly happy!
He is going into pre-kindergarten this year.
Okay, so how was I so right? The kid has a solidly average IQ, high side of average even on testing I had done for him. He actually has some great strengths. Sure, he has some deficits. For example, he has a language disorder. Well, we knew that. But a language disorder doesn’t mean someone is cognitively deficient. It just means he may not be able to use (understand or express) ideas verbally.
There were other things, but this was the one that I was thinking, “I really gotta quit doubting myself” 🙂 See, the original testing had his IQ in the 60s!
One thing about many foster kids is that they have *very* strong fear responses. When you look at the science of it, it comes from what we call the “reptilian” brain. That is what keeps you surviving despite whatever is going on in the moment. Surviving is much more important than some matrices or analogies on an IQ test, you know?
Actually, I would not doubt that Ace could even be gifted to some degree. One of my children had an IQ test say the low low side of average. This child also learned to read before Kindy and is a couple grade levels ahead academically now. Obviously, a child with a lowish IQ isn’t likely to bypass average, even gifted, classmates, especially across the board as this child has done.
Anyway, I know this post could sound as if I’m bragging about my smart kids or my own intelligence. I’m really not. Instead, I think that people simply don’t trust themselves to the point that they disregard information that doesn’t fit regardless of the source.
In 2007, my oldest daughter started “bloating.” We thought she was just getting a bit chubby as kids often do. Get a little chub, grow another inch, skinny minny again, right? But it didn’t change. Then it started getting worse. Then her legs started “blowing up.” She was uncomfortable. We noticed pitting on her shins. WHAT? Why is this happening to a teenager? So she was miserable and I got worried. I took her to the ER on a Friday night. Doctor blew us off. Sent us home with a pill and told us to visit our family doctor in 2 weeks.
The next day, my daughter couldn’t wear her shoes. She started crying as she tried to walk. This being a child who wasn’t dramatic or tearful generally. I really thought that the doctor the night before must have missed something. I kept trying to tell myself I was wrong. But we went to the children’s hospital that Saturday evening. We were in the ER all night. Early the next morning, they admitted her. Her liver, heart, etc were having trouble. All tied to her kidneys. Seems that if one system gets desperate enough, they all will try to compensate. I was right. And my daughter was okay because of it.
Anyway, so my message isn’t how I’m always right (far from it, btw). It is to trust yourself. Really? If I had been wrong about Ace, I simply would have thought a kid brilliant when he simply had some strengths. And had I been wrong with my daughter, I would have lost a night worth of sleep for no reason. Those aren’t horrible consequences to checking it out further, trusting my mommy instinct.