Life can be hard. Especially for our children coming from the foster care system. We are fortunate that any child in our county taken into custody and placed in foster care is granted a developmental evaluation. In our area the testing is handled through and in conjunction with early intervention specialists in our school system. What a blessing this has been for many families. These generalized tests are used to gauge where a child is in their developmental stage, what is a normal range, and if intervention is needed. It is used to measure their fine and gross motor skills, muscle development, and intellectual development.
With our oldest son, adopted at birth, we had concerns about his speech. They sent out a speech therapist to do a full developmental evaluation. We knew then what we had to work on with him and discovered some unique qualities he has in learning.
Our two youngest were adopted through foster care. Unfortunately, they had both suffered significant negligence prior to going into foster care. With our daughter, since they had her on the radar and she had been in placement before, the county was able to have her placed into an early intervention classroom early on in life. This helped her keep up with her peers, and I would argue, exceeded the expectations placed upon her.
With our second son, he was evaluated but didn’t need any immediate intervention. After coming home, we saw him bloom. He began talking, very quickly, and though he still has some minor speech issues from his early days, he is a bright, energetic boy, and we are expecting the most of his preschool year.
These tests are important to help our kids catch up, stay caught up, and not fall through the cracks. Had our kids not had these evaluations early on, we may have been looking at hard first years of school, trying to catch up emotionally and physically. Though we are early in the school years, we are confident and hopeful that they will do well in all aspects of their schooling.
For our children the main concerns were in their social and physical history. Both were born to moms in low-income homes, and though there was socialization, it was often not regular or with other children in their peer group. These tests can be imperative to your children succeeding in life, socially, mentally, and educationally.
Karla King is a mom, adoptive and foster. She is a Christian, a wife, and an advocate of open adoption.