The Reports

All of Ryan’s teachers and therapists have written reports on his progress in preparation for Monday’s big annual IEP* review.  Analysis of all his accomplishments and weaknesses, classified and assigned percentages and percentiles and equivalent developmental ages. A clinical and dispassionate evaluation of my child’s progress toward achieving his academic goals.

It’s kind of painful to see all that stuff in writing, even though I know it’s all true.

According to the Behavioral Observation Developmental Assessment of Young Children (DAYC), Ryan has only a 1% cognitive delay, but a 38% social-emotional delay.  He’s on par with a 2-3-year-old on X, on a 3 1/2 year level with Y, and a 4 1/2 year level with Z.

Then there are the long, strangely detailed lists of his IEP goals.

– Ryan will maintain eye contact with the speaker for 1 minute. (Emerging)

– Ryan will clean up materials after each activity and at the end of the day. (Mastered)

– During 1 verbal exchange, Ryan will control vocal intonation and body language to accurately match the intent of the message. (Emerging)

– Ryan will attempt 3 new experiences without protest.

My favorite part of these reports is the Regression Statement – each therapist details what sorts of losses of skills Ryan experiences following short breaks from school, and recommends the board of education continue to provide services for him over the summer.

Then there are 15 pages of narrative, single-spaced, excruciatingly detailed accounts of what my baby can’t do that a typical 4 1/2 year old should be able to do.

I know these statements are accurate – I’ve seen all these behaviors myself – and I know that the worse the reports make Ryan sound, the greater his odds of having his required services covered.  But it’s hard to read this litany of my baby’s challenges all spelled out in black and white.

When Chrissy emailed me her report, I shared my ambivalence with her.  Her response sums up all the reasons I love her:

I know it sucks to read – but we know what an awesome kid he is and how much he has grown since last year and continues to change every day!!  And all that stuff is all bull if you ask me  — pre-determined from people who probably don’t even have kids or understand them!!! – At least that’s what I like to think She’s right.  Ryan is still The Captain.

* Individual Education Program – the document that outlines what services Ryan will receive and why.

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Meredith Zolty
My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at
Meredith Zolty


My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at

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