On Friday we took her to her special education evaluation after she needed further assessment from her preschool screening. I had to get over the lump in my throat that she would be going to special education and we were beginning to face development delays. Then yesterday she was having a very "smart" day. She performed very well on all the testing. The evaluator was quite impressed with her and said she was a teacher's dream but that she definitely needed speech help. I don't think she saw what we see and deal with daily. Then when we were about to leave the behavior issues started coming out. She didn't want to go and did everything she could to stay. We got through it and got her in the van. This was not the result of the evaluation we were expecting.
We know little girl is mentally delayed. We still don't know if that is because she just hasn't been taught (although she was in daycare from 1 to 3 years old) or because she has some severe learning difficulties. She might catch up completely but it is unknown. There is a lot of unknown with her. It is unknown how much speech progress she can make and it is unknown how her behavior will change as she ages. We know her learning is delayed and she will need extra help and the professionals agree but she looks smart compared to other special education children. What the evaluation did show me was that some of my efforts are paying off. I have been practicing a lot of the skills that were tested with her. And she performed them very well. She can now understand "what's missing," same or different and play matching games. She can write better and has learned more shapes. Her deficiencies still exist but they were not tested yet, other than her speech.
I was also reassured that having her at Clay's Montessori school is the right thing for her. We met with the 2 Montessorians (teachers) yesterday for Clay's conference and they reminded me that Dr. Montessori originally designed this program specifically for kids like our little foster girl. Dr. Montessori was the first female physician in Italy and she was put in charge of the "orphaned" children in Italy because it seemed like they didn't know what to do with her. The teachers agree with us that little girl needs lots of love and it is great to know she is getting more love while she is at school too. We have had her at school only one day a week but will be increasing it to two in December. A little more freedom for me and education for her. I am looking forward to getting involved again at the science museum.