I wonder how Baby B will do on his SAT’s?
Baby B and I share many traits; we are both emotional, lovable, self-centered, charming, fatter than our siblings and neither of us do well on standardized tests.
Yes, we know this now, just after his second birthday. How do we know?
Baby B and Baby A were part of a study at our local famous teaching university. It took several visits and many, many tests to evaluate them as part of the control group for the university’s Autism Center. We went to the hospital three times, each time for about three hours, and met with a dizzying number of graduate students, MD’s, research fellows and Autism experts. The general results of all these evaluations and tests tell us that both babies are totally on track and just where they should be for their age. They are with the 55th percentile of 24 to 30 month olds as far as socialization, speech, comprehension, physical abilities (both fine and gross motor skills) and so on. Except in one area: according to the Center, Baby B has difficulty managing his emotions, especially those stemming from frustration. This is because he had two leetle toss-things-around-type tantrums whilst at the center. Once he did it because a test he was doing got too difficult and another because, well, it was 4:30 in the afternoon and he hadn’t napped yet. As his devoted mama, I know this, but the director of the center gently and solemnly advised me to call Birth to Three to see if they could help him out with Behavioral Therapy.
Well! I was a tiny bit disturbed by this information, but I also used it as an opportunity to see how the DH and I could help Mister B ourselves at home. After some observation and analysis of ourselves, it turns out that since Baby A does so much talking and since his speech is so clear and easily understood, both the DH and I were not giving Baby B enough time and enough opportunity to make himself understood. As a result, he was not getting what he wanted and was then getting pissed. Well, duh. It makes sense.
So, for the month following the Autism Studies until we has the Birth to Three program come over for an evaluation, we had been letting him take his time, and we were paying better attention to his speech. We both really do understand more of what he is trying to communicate. Of course, time is a factor, but extra concentrated attention to a 26 month old who is constantly in competition with his twin is also helpful. Baby A is fine with this – I think he likes it when we get Baby B to say what he wants and needs. It saves Baby A from getting stuck trying to “translate” for his oblivious parents.
Anyway, Birth to Three came over today. They met Baby B, asked some questions, and we all settled down to test the lad. He sat on my lap, because they had heard he was “uncooperative.” After playing two games with the nice lady, he got off my lap, settled down to concentrate in front of her and proceeded to charm her to bits.
Yes, in his own home and after a refreshing nights sleep, he is absolutely cooperative, un-tantrum-ish and quite a darling too! He completed all their tests, got everything right and totally disqualified himself from the program. It was so funny when they were asking him to repeat numbers back to them. I'm sure it was a fluke, but here's what he said:
Evaluator: Baby B, can you say one three?
Baby B: One Free
Evaluator: Can you say six four?
Baby B: Six four
Evaluator: What about nine seven
Baby B: Sixteen
We all got a chuckle from that. When I told the DH he said, "You know, he might just be a genius, and that's why he gets so angry." And here I thought a baby's mother was supposed give her child 200% credit...
When they were tidying up and saying "Bye Bye" to the boys and smiling and laughing at Baby A and B saying "Bye Bye" and waving back in unison, one of the evaluators asked me in a low voice, “And exactly why did the Autism Center feel he needed therapy? He is right on track and a nice boy too.”
I felt like I had wasted their time, but felt relieved too. With my 20-20 goggles on I can now see that the Autism Center caught Baby B at a bad time (pre-nap) on one day, and pushed him too fast on the following day. Add the fact that I wasn’t in the room when he went berserk, and you get a slightly skewed view of Baby B's emotional health.
Birth to Three saw him in his natural habitat, and pronounced him A-Ok. I guess all them doctors really don’t know ever’thin.