A couple of weeks after our first evaluation, I got a call from the agency to schedule the second. We were finalizing a date when I suddenly realized that they were making an appointment for there rather than here. Now why they would have assumed I’d know that, when the first person did come to the house, I have no idea.
So we changed the date to one where we could actually go, and last Thursday Bob took the afternoon off work so we could all trek up to Concord. In more amazing examples of inefficiency, the fact that they had already spent 90+ minutes evaluating her did not mean we could avoid repeating her entire medical history and answering a dozen questions which they should have already known the answer to. I do love to talk about Dorrie, but it gets tiresome after a while to have to go through the same thing over and over. I know they write it down. I see them do it. Does it disappear into a black hole afterwards?
In any case, I entertained Dorrie with one of her toys while we answered all these questions, so she remained in a reasonably good frame of mind by the time the eval finally got around to involving interaction with her.
She played with an iPad for a little while, and then the woman brought out this machine:
I guess finding out about this thing was worth the drive and scheduling nonsense. It’s actually really pretty awesome. It’s a touchscreen computer which can be fitted with different plastic grids on the front, dividing the screen into varying sized boxes. (The one Dorrie tried out had 8). In each little box it can display the image of the user’s choice, and then all the person has to do is touch the image that they want. The Vanguard says the word associated with the box.
Dorrie has been spending most of this school year practicing making choices based on pictures, so if her motor control can be improved enough that she can really hit the image she wants, this would be a really great system for her to use. In her IEP goals for next year is attempting to increase the number of things to pick from all the way to 5 choices (from the two she currently does), and I really didn’t see how that could be handled until we saw this in action.
The day couldn’t entirely end without further annoyance, however, as we discovered the evaluation wasn’t over yet! No, even though they knew well in advance she was coming and should theoretically have had all the equipment on hand for this visit, they did not get around to having an eye gaze device available, so we will have to return for a third visit at the end of July. I’m very interested in seeing how this works, so I’m looking forward to it, but I don’t think any of these places really bother to take into account or care that each trip requires someone(s) to take time off work.