Ever had evaluators misinterpret what they see in a difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    The speech/language therapist who evaluated difficult child 2's language pragmatics made a comment in her report that at the end of her time with him, she said, "It's time for you to hit the road, Jack!" To which difficult child 2 replied, "My name's not Jack." She then proceeded to explain the meaning of the phrase and its origins.

    I asked difficult child 2 why he said that because I know he's heard the phrase many times, and he's heard the song. I suspected he was trying to be silly right back at her, even though his response was very deadpan.

    He told me he was just being sarcastic. And then he told me he'd forgotten what it meant. And then he went back to his sarcasm comment and said that Dr. H (the speech therapist) always says corny stuff like that to him and he finds it annoying so that's why he replied the way he did.

    Not sure which part of his statement to believe. Both maybe.

    I do know he scored extremely high on the language component (something like a grade 13 level), and he has a good sense of humor and lives in a family that is constantly punning and using word plays.

    Other comments in the report(s) said he was being silly a lot and using funny voices to answer questions. I think he was bored. He said he was bored when I asked him why he did that. What bright 11yo wouldn't be bored with all those seemingly pointless questions?

    I worry that some of his behaviors and comments could be misinterpreted by someone who isn't as familiar with him, whose sense of humor isn't quite as quick, or who is "looking" for something and therefore sees what they want to see.

    Is this a legitimate concern?
  2. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I think it is a valid concern. I also know it has happened in our family. I know even when it is not something punny or humorous etc.I have had 2 neuropsychs argue with each other over some symptom or phrase someone has used----(whether it is the patient or the professional) - I have had psychitrists argue with neurologists over phrases used and whether my child could or did understand something dureing evaluation-I have had sensory docs discredit things saying my kid could not possibly understand, I have had docs not believe my child did NOT understand something they thought my kid SHOULD understand and I have had tdocs invalid whole evaluations becuz they thought my kids should have been on a particular medication DUREING an evaluation and wasn't......and vice versa.

    ALL of this stuff, the evaluations, the questionnaires, it is all so subjective, and it is subjective to the cliient patient, and to the professional and can be interpreted and misinterpreted by both client patient and tester......and the interpretations can be misinterpreted, too. It can be quite complicated.
    what I especially hate is when one evaluator will say one thing when he first gives his report, and 3 months later he will alter what he says based on his new review of the same OLD report HE wrote himself! I also hate when 2 different professionals look at samematerial and reach totally different conclusions.
    and it raises a red flag in me when they cannot decide if my child understood the QUESTION....

    I also personally feel no doctor in the soft sciences SHOULD use sarcasm with most patients/clients, becuz while some can and do "get it" some can or do not get it and really sarcasm has no place in professional world. well thats just my opinion, anyway. I think sarcasm should be saved for more personal relationships.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We have had this problem. I think many times our kids are just smarter than the "docs" who evaluation them. I KNOW my son has been bored during evaluations and answered a certain way to "mess" with the professional. I have watched him do it (and interrupting while it is going on is NOT well received, so I kept my mouth shut), read evaluations that clearly show it, and only had 1 doctor EVER pick up on it.

    Many of the problems our kids have come along with increased intelligence, lower boredom tolerance, strange sense of humor, and little patience with adults who seem "nuts" to the kids. I also think the docs frequently speak to the kids in a patronizing manner. I KNOW my son responds to this by not answering the way he owuld otherwise (so do I sometimes).
    I really think the evaluations are WAY to subjective, and that each evaluation needs to be tempered by common sense.

    And, sometimes, the kids decide that it is none of our business, so they skew things purposely. Heck, I did that as a kid. Hated the standardized testing, so I messed with it.

    Sorry, this can make things really hard on a parent.
  4. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    OMG! you just reminded me-OMG!
    My son went in for new glasses, not ones to improve his vision, but a pair becuz he is supposed to wear them to protect his "good eye" which already has perfect vision. So, as part of the protocol, an eye exam was included, so we sat and did the history etc.....includeing discussing his surgeries at length....and WHY he was getting glasses even tho his good eye is perfect and his bad eye is completely 100% no use AT ALL (except for a base for future prosthesis)
    So wwe finish all that, order glasses, come to pick them up- the lady looks at his chart, looks at son, puts glasses on him, says "there now do you see LOTS better now?" so my son - you can see him stifling a grin, says well, no, not really (which is of course totally true) so the lady gets all concerned and is starting to freak out. and my goofy son, loses his patience with her, and jumps up and says OH IT IS A MIRACLE, a miracle, I tell you! OMG! My son is NOT normally difficult child ish. well, the lady was taken aback, and she is like ACK what is going on? and I am sorry, I know it was not nice of my son, but....I had to struggle to not LOL. I was like DUDE knock it off, youre freaking her out. Well, nevermind just 3 days prior we had gone over the WHOLE "tragedy" of his eye with her.....my son was like "sorry, I wanted to make you feel better, lady" well, this lady did NOT find it humourous AT ALL.
    A week later we were at eye surgeons for more of the never ending "follow up" and there was a new tech (or whatever the people are who check you before the doctor himself comes in) and well..um, they are accustomed to geriatrics, and not peds.....and I suppose maybe they do not have all too many failures? So this lady comes in and is doing her thing, and says to son, OK vision test time. He says OK (This is routine to him, old hat, old news etc, I mean we went every week for months) Now she had just sat there and scanned his chart....and his eye is scarred REALLY badly....and she says ok cover this eye.....and he says "why? I cannot even percieve light in THAT eye" She says oh really? well lets see. well, now he gets mad cuz well, he already resents giving up his free time to go so far and he is angry she is not LISTENING to him......she looks at ME as if to confirm whether or not he can see or not. By then I am already getting giggles, which I get when nervous. I look at her and point to my son, becuz I am TRYING to teach my kids to take some ownership for their health care and I want the providers to ask my KIDS their questions, becuz hey, why do they need to ask me and then have me ask my kids and my kid answer me and then me answer the provider? Ask my kid directly. BUT my son has now decided heck with this lady. SO the lady repeats for son to cover his bad eye.......so------he complied and then she asked him to read the chart------well, um, my son has the dumb chart MEMORIZED so------
    ACK! He promptly and correctly told her the letters on the chart! with a straight face! I KNEW he was gonna do that- I saw it coming. I did not stop him, I am so naughty. I sat there. She looked at me all accuseing and said "Well! I thought you said he cannot see from that eye"
    UG! OK lady, you refused to give my son or me the listening you should have, you PRETNEDED to read his chart, but obviously you didn't, YOU deserve this (thats what I was thinking)
    Instead of saying what I was thinking, I burst out in massive laughter. I said to her make him read the next line. she started to get all huffy at us. well, hey come on. I said to her do it. she was too angry and weird. I said look lady, he cannot see, we told you he cannot see. why couldn't you acept that, or confirm it in his chart. He is bored. he would much rather spend his free time playing, do you blame him? we tried to tell you. you did not want to listen. so he decided to play with you. where is your sense of humor. YEESH. Thank goodness his eye surgeon has a sense of humor. My son got a tshirt that said "it was all fun and games till the flying monekys take your eye" with stick people and stick monkeys, and yes, my son wore THAT to eye docs office-----eye doctor walked in room and immediately burst out LOL.
    ANYONE who works with kids, they NEED to um...know something about kids.....they need to have a sense of humor but they also need to be aware that not everyone does have a sense of humor and some kids do take things quite literally, very seriously, and other kids will be playful, mischievous etc. BUT at the same time, they also do need to give the kids respect. If you do not give my kid respect? I am not gonna demand my kid give you respect. My kid does not have to EARN your respect from the start-----we command your respect becuz we HIRED you - now yes, if my kid causes you to no longer respect him, thats different BUT.....I do not care WHAT my kids diagnosis is- you start off giving him respect.
    But before you start makeing puns or being sarcastic etc, you need to know how the client/patient is going to perceive it. and unless you have that kind of rapport, then if you are in a professional relationship- you need to behave accordingly.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Dreamer, I am :rofl: ROFLMAO over your story! That is just absolutely CLASSIC! I love your son's sense of humor!
  6. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Actually I do usually requie my kids to give respect, but, when we got in the car my son said MOM! how did she expect me to be respectful when she was being SO idiotic? He definetly had a point.
    My son has a quick wit, a sharp mind.....and a strong sense of humor. I am very grateful his eye surgeon absolutely adores my son, tho, or I might have been more embarrassed. :)
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Dreamer, your story is a HOOT! OMG that's funny.

    GVC - yes, I've had this same problem with difficult child. Just Wednesday in the evaluation, they asked him how you know if someone is a girlfriend, and he said "oh, their hair and hips and stuff", and the evaluator said, "Oh, that's how you know they're a girl?" to which difficult child replied absently "yes", however, that is also how difficult child determines if they are also a "girlfriend". A complete stranger with the appropriate build is a girlfriend if he's ever spoken to or touched her. Its also how he defines his relationship with me. And she TOTALLY missed it.

    During another test, he got bored with the first vague part of each question and finally, while sitting with his head hanging down from the seat of the chair and his feet up over the back of the chair said "Lady, I need more information."
  8. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    This happens to us with difficult child ALL THE TIME!!

    As she functions primarily with her left brain, her vocabulary and articulation are wonderful. Its in her paperwork by a neuro that her functioning level is way below that of her speech but we still get people who think we're nuts and that she functions higher than we tell them she does. In addition to ignoring the neuro paperwork, they also discount the neuropsychologist exam. They then jump to the conclusion that the problem is us, the parents. We just ended another service due to this.
  9. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am thinking.....and I think best out loud....
    I know when we had tons of services---like respite and in home tdocs and in home behav mod and a bazillion other things going on here---it felt- intrusive. We felt like slides under a microscope- like fish in a bowl, like animals in a cage----we felt like people were just scrutinizing us and analyzing us and critiqueing every breathe we took. We were constantly being asked to tell what we were thinking, why we were doing what we were doing etc- to the extreme.
    SOmetimes I think our kids grow to resent haveing to explain, jsutify, reason out everything they do. Even if it how they walk, or how they speak etc. They do know others, their peers, do not have to explain things over and over and over day after day to such a myriad group of professionals. I bet it is so hard to have people piciking apart how you say your words, how you behave when you need to go potty, as if it is a big neon sign pointing at you saying YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS NORMAL THING RIGHT..while all around them the rest of the world does these very same things without a thought at all.

    I would not be at all surprised for kids to resent it, resent the time, resent the inspection, the intrusion, the focus.....the critiques.....
    and I sure would not be surprised for MANY kids to decide to mess around and skew the whole thing on purpose- to see if anyone notices, to see if it alters the results in some amuseing way, or to test the professional.

    ANd if the kid is able to "fool" the professional, I think the kids get a fat head and a little boost to their ego-----and feel as if well, humph I am smarter than THAT person.....
    I know my son has said dureing IQ tests etc, why are you asking me, dont YOU know? If you don't know YOU need to go learn and if you DO know, then why are you asking me? Why do I have to prove myself to YOU? Why are we spending valuable life time sitting here doing this? (YIKES, my son)
    And if a professional does not even have a clue this is going on? I discredit the results, anyway, cuz how can the professionals results be valid if a kid can fool him, and how can he properly administer an evaluation if he does not have the proper rapport with the kid to find out what is going on? AND if the professional decides to be PO'ed at the kid over such a thing, well, then I am not sure the professional would have the appropriate objectivity when evaluating the evaluation.

    (did any of that make sense?)
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GvcMom-I would agree the results could be skewed.

    Dreamer-Your son has a great sense of humor!