New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
Reflections on Early Intervention Services
I wish that Early Intervention professionals realized that all the love and care they give to parents leads moms and dads to believe the entire system works the same way. Many parents are in shock and become disillusioned when they hit the brick wall of Early Childhood Special Education (ages 3-5) as it’s practiced by most school districts.
I wish Early Intervention personnel had recognized and valued my little boy’s strengths, instead of focusing on his “weaknesses” and “deficits.” It seemed that the characteristics I identified as strengths were not “accepted” as important, since they weren’t on any developmental charts. I tried to focus and build on my son’s strengths; others tried to remediate his “deficits.” (Later, I learned to disregard many “expert” opinions in which the “deficits” outnumbered the strengths.)
I wish my baby son had not been measured against the “norm,” and then assigned a “developmental age.” Every time he was tested or assessed, I was left feeling that he “didn’t measure up” in the eyes of those who were there to help us. Trying to maintain a positive, hopeful attitude about his future after every test and assessment took every ounce of my strength. (And then one day I said, “No more formal tests, ever again.” I also told others, such as educators, to never compare my son to other children, but to only compare him to himself: as in, what is he doing now that he wasn’t doing six days, six weeks, or six months ago?)
I wish those who administer tests and assessments did things very differently...