Thursday, May 21, 2015


A few years ago, Olivia’s team at school decided that because 5p- syndrome is so rare and most people have never even heard of it, she would be better served if we went with an Autism label on her IEP.

I have never said that Olivia has autism. She has a few of the symptoms, but those can be attributed to her diagnosis of 5p-. A lot of the symptoms of 5p- mirror those of autism. Even after the school put the autism label in her file, I never used it.

I kind of loved this school psychologist. He said that Olivia never really talked to him directly but she would be silly, would answer direct questions with a nod or a point or a whisper if necessary.

He wants to take the autism label out of her file because he’s afraid that if we ever change school systems, other teachers/administrators/psychologists will see Autism and not look beyond that.

He also explained that her diagnosis of 5p- syndrome almost guarantees her services as long as we feel she needs them. There is no need to tack autism on top of that.

His assessment of Olivia is that she’s very smart (duh), she’s creative, she can be quite charming and she’s extremely stubborn.

Ha! Like we didn’t know that one.

But seriously, he got all that from about three twenty minute sessions with her, during which she didn’t talk much to him. He said that sometimes she would start to answer a question, realize what she was doing and shut down again. That’s not an autism thing, that’s a stubbornness thing.

So we will continue to expose her to her peers, put her in the mainstream classroom next year with all the other second graders with as much or as little intervention as necessary to keep her up to speed academically and we’ll push her socially. It’s what she needs.

What she doesn’t need is a label that doesn’t fit her.

Honestly, I’m glad we’re losing the autism label. I went with it when they suggested it before kinderkids because they said it would help her receive and keep services. From what I learned yesterday, she doesn’t need it and in the long run, since it’s not an accurate label for her, it could hurt her.

So we’re going forward without the label. It doesn’t change anything about Olivia. She’s still her smart, creative, stubborn little self. Those characteristics will serve her well throughout her life.

And today's hair, just because:

1 comment:

robin said...

Hooray for a good psychologist taking life-long labels off of files for your daughter! He's so right, they'll see autism on the file and have a preconceived idea of how to work with her, and it doesn't seem like that would be helpful to her at all. Glad he can make that change for you now instead of you having to defend it later (if you need to).