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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MSP Meltdown

I am and educator and a mother and I will be the first to confess to you that I HATE state testing, especially for those sweeties that have special needs.  Whatever they have been putting in the water at Luke's school regarding the state testing MSP (Measurement of Student Progress) has really hyped him up.  He is wound up so tightly it hasn't taken much for him to blow up at any of us. 
His test anxiety has really been unlike anything I have seen from him before.  He just keeps saying, "I just want it to be over mom!"  His eyes fill with tears and I stand there helpless to fix it, make it better or help him succeed. 
I decided to call Anthony (Luke's therapist at Family Solutions) after Luke's first major meltdown this weekend regarding the ridiculous state testing.!  Hands down, perfect match for Luke.  Anthony understands Luke, and I was thanking my lucky stars he had lots of ideas to help his test anxiety.  A shout out of thanks!
First...we made a list of all Luke's worries regarding the MSP.  My heart sinks at what my sweet Luke thinks about this test. :(

Luke writes: I am worried I will get all the questions wrong.
I am worried I won't go to the 5th grade.
Worried I have to stay after school 30 minutes if I don't finish on time.
President going to get my test scores.
Talk during the test.
Held back.
Won't pass the test.
My fifth grade teacher will be cross with me (regarding poor test scores). baby has so much worry over a stupid, stupid test!  I just want the makers of this testing to come spend some time with my son and decide if this test was in his best interest.  And while he does have accommodations, I don't know what they are really doing.  Are they really accommodating for him?  The way he needs to be?  It is these moments that I wonder am I doing the very best for my child?  Am I putting him in a situation that isn't good, but one that I think is good?  I am struggling with all this self doubt.
Anthony suggested we label Luke's worries into 3 categories (true, unsure, and false).  Most all of his worries were false.  I then had Luke erase them and told him he needs to erase those from his mind (because they are not true).
We made a step-by-step plan of his test day so he would know what to expect.  Luke is concrete.  He thrives on lists.
Finally Anthony suggested a positive statement that we can keep saying to Luke over and over so that he has something to repeat to himself.  Most of the statement was Anthony's idea but we tweaked it at the end with a little Luke language. 
I am just praying we survive the testing processes, I could careless if he passes the stupid tests or not! 


chicks3 said...

In our state students with IEPs are given different tests than the general population and they take them in the RSP room. Also any parent may excuse their child from testing (altho the schools do not like that very much).

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anthony IS AMAZING! i have said the same thing, he "gets" Abi. Luke is an amazing kiddo. Praying for him. : )

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