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Testing Again

The program my son is attending has requested additional testing. I was surprised by my strong negative reaction to this request. Particularly since at times in the past testing was exceedingly useful to figure out how to proceed. We’re going to do the testing, and jump through any other required hoops, because we need things that are best available through this program. However I’ve spent the last week sorting feelings and trying to figure out why I’m feeling angry and resentful about a fairly reasonable request for further information.

Today I got into my files to find reports of prior testing done for this son. The file is thick. This kid has been tested with pretty much every academic, psychological, or intellectual instrument that exists, starting at age 2. Including, I discovered, the exact test that his current program is requesting. So now I need to go have another conversation with the staff to decide whether they want to accept test results that are three years old or if they want updated results. I bet they’ll want updated results.

I think I’ve lost faith in the usefulness of further testing. The tests were incredibly valuable in prior years, but repeats won’t add useful information. Also, I can’t escape the feeling that “We’d like to run a test” directly translates into “We don’t know how to help.” Which is a discouraging thing to hear from people who are supposed to be experts. It turns out that even in a program specifically designed for societal outliers, my son is an outlier. Which puts me back in the space of negotiating and trying to forge a way forward off the beaten path.

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