By Emily Franklin
February 7, 2014
I’m glad you could come today to discuss ____’s testing. He’s charming! Yes, true, spirited is the word we like to use. And quirky. That’s a fine term. Diagnosable? Let’s not jump there quite yet. I’d like to go over some notes. I do understand he was tired on the first day of testing. And hungry on the second. I did ask your wife about snacks. No, she declined. They aren’t organic. Just peanut butter crackers, the fluorescent orange ones. Did you? Me, too. Sort of fallen out of favor, I guess. Anyway, your wife said it was better just to focus on the testing. Let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything as I go.
We’ve got the WISC-IV, BASC, WAIS Subtests. Oh. Well, intellectual functioning. Language processing and processing speed. That is, the speed at which information is coming in for ____ and then how fast he can process and react to it. Does that make sense? Good. Great. Oh, really? I don’t think you mentioned that in our initial meeting. Or in the notes. No, of course it doesn’t change the outcome of the tests but factors like that can play a part. On both sides? Hmm. No, it wasn’t a judgmental hmmm. I’m sorry if that’s how it sounded. You’re absolutely right. It isn’t my place to judge. I’m just here to help you and help ______ be better able to function in school. No, that isn’t what I said. I said better function, not that he wasn’t functioning at all. Of course I realize the myriad ways he is charming and bright and. Did he? That’s nice. He did say he liked to draw.
In fact, I can show you some of the drawings here — no, I’m not ignoring the elephant in the room as you call it. I think we have limited time and need to stay on track to use this time to go over the results so that it’s not all numbers and percents that — again, not my intent. You have many advanced degrees and are very bright. Of course you are fully capable of understanding the breakdown and _____’s percentiles. Would you like some water? No, no trouble at all. Here you go. So, if I may turn back to the report. You’ll see the data compiled from teachers and Dr. T_____. Oh, right, well, he’s still a doctor. I understand. I can absolutely call him T-Man if that helps. Sure. I’m not at all being condescending. No need to apologize. It’s that time of day, isn’t it?
I don’t actually except for the crackers I mentioned earlier. Top drawer on the left. Two is fine. Haha — yes, very crumbly! Really? Interesting. No, I simply mean that sensory issues — such as crumbs on your tongue or itchy tags — oh, those, too? Those sometimes indicate — okay, never mind. So I’d like to show you this. Well, you need to look on my copy because you have the report but not the testing papers themselves. Because that’s sort of standard procedure. It’s not a picture of a house per se. Does it have to be a concrete thing? Okay, we can call it a house. ______ did try hard on this task and he was able to stay focused for enough time — enough time means WNL. Within normal limits. Not clinical. So he was to look at this picture without knowing he’d be copying it for me. Well, it isn’t meant to be fair. It’s a test. Yes. Yes, it is. I agree. Some people find it tougher than others. Yes, he did. He excelled at building with the blocks, but let’s get back to the house. Even though it’s not a house. Okay. Here.
You certainly may look at it. What? Now? I don’t really think that’s appropriate, do you? Well, you’re paying me to test your child so it’s not really the same thing at all. I don’t. Okay, fine. Sit there and look at this for sixty seconds. You realize that this is the unfair part because you know you’re going to copy it so you’re coming up with systems for how you’ll duplicate the graphic! Which makes it sort of null and void because we’re testing for those systems when you aren’t manipulating them. You are so. You’re purposefully exploiting the test. If you were in school you’d fail this test because you’re cheating. I know you’re not tracing it but it still doesn’t count. No, I won’t tell you where the chimney thing is because you had sixty seconds of cheating time and — oh, guess what? Time’s up. No I will not. I’m sorry but no you can’t try it again.
Everyone always thinks they can do better but percentages suggest that everyone falls within their own parameters. That is, you have a range of let’s say 30-50 — no, I’m using those numbers arbitrarily. Okay, fine. You have a range of 90-100. You can take the test one thousand times but you will — most of the time — fall within that range. Sure, sometimes you’ll be under and sometimes over. No, you can’t just pick the best of. Because that’s not how these things work. Because if you want the tests to be significant for any signs of clinical weakness or issue we can’t. Well, fine.
I’m glad you feel good about the results of tests you have not ever taken. Now. Six minutes. Yes. I do understand. Do you understand? Do you? He is still your son. No matter what the packet or I or anyone or any diagnosis says. He’s yours.
Yours. No, I know. Yes, there’s a box on my desk. Thank you for saying that. I do try. Yes. We could all use more sleep. Sure. Next week we can find a different time. We’ll wait until then. Anything I was going to report can certainly wait a week, though not much longer, really. Sure. The crackers really are better than you remember them. Not organic, but what can you do?