People always say that you shouldn't compare your children to each other or to someone else's. Weird advice. I mean, I get it, but how is that possible? Think about it. Look at my boys above and you'll notice a difference in their hair color. Trivial difference, I know, but nonetheless the moment I notice it I'm comparing them (contrasting, technically, for you English teachers out there). If the picture were clearer you'd notice they both have blue eyes. Also comparing, but here I'm highlighting something they have in common so it doesn't seem like such a big deal.
Where am I going with this? Well, Max will be turning three in two and a half months at which time his Early Intervention services will cease and future services will become the responsibility of the local school district. In order to receive them he will attend preschool. Before that happens Early Intervention is required to perform a final evaluation. Max's took place a couple of weeks ago.
They call the evaluation "The Michigan." It was apparently written there. Max has done it three or four times. To the observer it looks just like a series of activities that Max sees as play. He has to put pegs into a board, stack small blocks, find objects hidden under cloths, use a pincer grasp to pick up Cheerios--a boat load of tasks like that.
The first time he did it the results really upset me. See, "The Michigan" attempts to determine the developmental age of a child in relation to typical children. Even though I knew Max was delayed, seeing that, for example, his gross motor skills were those of a child half his age was devastating. I cried as his speech pathologist explained it to me.
This most recent evaluation didn't have the same effect on me. Instead I find it interesting and informative. Since Max is my first child I don't really know when typical children reach their milestones. I actually like knowing where Max is in relation to his typical peers. In fact, some of the results make a really proud mommy. Not to mention, after two and a half years I'm very familiar with Max's strengths and weaknesses, and so I wasn't really surprised. And as I read through the report it occurred to me that you might be interested in what an evaluation says Max can do and what he needs to work on.
In order to understand the info below you'll need to know that Max is 33 months old.
Fine Motor--This is mostly Max's ability to use his fingers to complete tasks. It's one of his strengths. His skills in this area are established at 22 months with a scatter up to 24 or 25 months.
Cognition--This includes problem-solving (i.e. figuring out how to get something out of a bottle), imaginative play, imitation, etc. Max struggles here a little. He performs at a level between 19 and 23 months.
Language--Language is Max's biggest struggle at the moment. This area is differentiated into receptive language (understanding language around him) and expressive language (any language he produces). His receptive language skills are at a 14 month level and his expressive skills are at 12 months with a scatter up to 15 months.
Social / Emotional--Max rocks this one. He's well established at a 27 month level.
Self-care--This includes feeding and dressing himself as well as toilet-training. 22 month level.
Gross Motor--Walking, running, jumping, etc. Once Max's biggest struggle, he now performs at a 23 month level. Woo! And thank goodness. Carrying a 30-pound toddler is really tiring.
Now, this proud mommy wants to brag a little. Check out this proof that my big boy knows how to swim.