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Old 02-04-2016, 09:35 AM   #1
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Has anyone had a child evaluated using the PLS-5?

We had this evaluation yesterday, and I am not impressed.

Kitten (age 2) will not consistently eat any "solid" foods other than strawberry yogurt and potato soup. She also will not let me brush her teeth with anything other than the Nuk finger toothbrush. We requested a referral for feeding therapy, and we were sent to the rehab center of the local children's hospital.

The evaluation suggested that she would benefit from feeding therapy and that we should consider speech therapy as well. We agreed to have her evaluated for speech therapy at an undetermined later time.

At the first appointment, Kitten melted down completely (probably because she was crazy constipated.) The second appointment was snowed out. The third appointment included the nutritionist, so no therapy happened. Then yesterday, she was evaluated for speech with no prior notice to us. The therapist scored her as a year behind in speech.

I was not pleased, came home, and wrote my shrink a detailed e-mail outlining both the events of the day and the other instances of poor communication, and asking if I am being weird or if this is actually going badly. My shrink (with whom I have an odd, almost familial relationship because we've been working together since I was fourteen) wrote back to say that this whole experience was unprofessional BS, and we should shut it down. She also disagrees with the diagnosis of a year's speech delay. (That said, because of the oddity of our relationship, Kitten is her quasi-grandchild, and therefore brilliant.)

I spent yesterday evening googling the PLS-5, and I am not impressed. Some of my irritation comes from a general skepticism of standardized tests (I taught middle and high school for ten years,) and a specific skepticism of the Pearson company (who low bidded their way into my district with the single worst textbook from which I have ever had the misfortune of trying to teach.) The only two non-Pearson links on the first page of Google are highly critical and recommend against using this test because it is unreliable. Link 1. Link 2.

  1. Is this test an appropriate tool for evaluating my child?
  2. Does this test provided any insight into the specific deficits she may have, and will that insight translate into concrete interventions?
  3. Is some sort of evaluation merely an insurance check box that we can then ignore?
  4. Is three appointments in to soon to expect to my child to have experienced some actual therapy?
  5. What sort of "homework"* should we be receiving, and how should those activities be followed up?
*Our "homework" so far. (Our actions and her follow up in parentheses.)
1. Take away paci. (Only allowing paci at bed and nap; therapist repeatedly praised us.)
2. Rationing milk (We are keeping her to 24 oz per day. No comment from therapist.)
3. Keep a food log (I brought it up; therapist changed subject to speech evaluation.)
4. Limit screen time (She doesn't have excessive screen time, in my opinion, and no one has asked us to track her screen time to get an accurate measurement.)
5. Introduce toast. (Done, reactions recorded on food log; therapist uninterested in seeing log yesterday.)
6. Buy special oral motor tools from Amazon. (Done, brought to second appointment; therapist praised us for buying them but didn't show us what to do with them.)
7. Bring food for Kitten to eat during therapy. (Every time; she has only had the opportunity to eat at the first session.)
8. Sign up for state-run early intervention program. ("Intake" meeting next Wednesday; therapist is so enthusiastic about this that you'd think it was an Amway product. I am not enthusiastic about hosting a stranger in my home.)
9. Color with Kitten, but make sure she "really" colors and doesn't just eat the crayons. (Kitten is nicknamed "The Scribbler" and colors on every piece of paper she can get her hands on. Kitten has not "eaten" a crayon in over a year. Therapist is aware of this and knows that she can't leave her pen within reach or Kitten will steal it and go color.)


ISO: A contractor who shows up and actually does the work for which I am paying him without me standing over him like he is a child who won't clean his room.

The remodel isn't going well.
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