Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Failing her first test

I'm gonna sorta combine some info here as they happened relatively about the same time and effect one please be patient with this post. :-)

We recently had Lydia evaluated by a therapist for possible inclusion into the First Steps program. This is a program for children who are developmentally behind for whatever reason. It catches the children up and gets them back on track so they aren't delayed in their growth progress.

We were concerned. Lydia doesn't talk much. Mostly grunting and pointing go on at our house, with a good dose of hand gestures thrown in so mommmy knows which specific song Lydia wants her to sing. (Right now we are on a "Hot Potato" kick...please don't make me sing it for me, I sing it a lot and I know all the required hand movements to boot!)

Anyway, I digress. So, we had her evaluated. The evaluation took place in our home and consisted of questions for us, questions for her, observation and skills tests. As we watched, and participated we were so sure she was behind. So many of the things Jen did with Lydia, she just couldn't do. But then Jen reassured us, with a "Don't worry, what I've been doing is advanced for her age." And that confused us mightily. But what we would ultimately discover was remarkable and a little bit scary.

First let me cut the suspense, she failed the entrance exam. Let me tell you, as a parent, you're never so glad for your child to fail a test as this one!!

Second, not only did she fail, she failed big time. It seems our girl is advanced. She is ahead in most areas. She basically possesses the skills and cognative abilities of a 2 year old--so about 4-5 months ahead of the game. Not only that, she apparently has the memory of an elephant. There is no way to know for sure how far back she can remember...but Jen said to me she may actually remember China. (That would be over double what she should be able to recall at this age!)

Lastly, our girl is behind in one area...socially/emotionally. She basically is about 3-4 months behind here. While Jen didn't use this term, what that basically means is an attachment disorder. She is overly attached. Afraid of abandonment, she has extreme stranger anxiety. She doesn't reach out much to others beyond me and Russell. Hence the lack of speech. We "get" the grunts and the pointing, so she has no need to speak. So, basically Jen told us to act dumb and make her talk. And now, just a week and a half later, we much dumber parents have heard about 2 times the number of words. She's gone from about 8, to about 18 not including babysigns. Double, in just over a week. It's amazing what playing dumb can get ya! :-)

So...if that wasn't enough to make it a big week, Lydia also met my family for the first time. Day one was hard. Lydia clung to me big-time and just cried. Day two was a little easier, and each day she came out of her shell some more. By the end of their visit Lydia was letting my sister hold her for short periods and would approach and even kiss her grandparents. So even in the social/emotional area we got to see some progress this week.

P.S. I've tried 3 times to add pictures to this post..Blogger won't let me right now, so pictures will (hopefully) be forthcoming.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting the results of Lydia's evaluation. I was wondering how she did. As a result of your mentioning the services available, I am currently working to have our Josie evaluated here in VA. Thanks so much for sharing. Michele (VAMom2Be)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 6:57:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Not only did Lydia come to me and let me hold her, she took a nap on my shoulder AND went outside with me (all alone!) and was quite content the entire time. She only cried when I took her back inside the house.
She's smart as a whip! Trust me, you have nothing to worry about with that child!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 7:02:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan and Heather said...

That's great news that she's so advanced!
I was wondering what you are supposed to do for her attachment and social/emotional issues? Is it something that goes away over time or are there certain things you work on with her? I'm just trying to prepare myself for what might be ahead with our Vietnam adoption.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 7:55:00 AM  
Blogger Lissa and Russell said...

Not much we can do for her there other than be VERY available to her. No such thing as too much attention or too much love. Apparently that memory of hers, while it will serve her well in the future is making it more difficult for her now.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 9:03:00 AM  

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