I am still in shock over yesterday’s visit to BUP (Child and Youth Psychology). Yesterday, poor “Gubby” was put through an IQ-test and I honestly is starting to get more than fed up with this. I am ready to declare the psychologist testing him an imbecile! I wish I knew who I could ask if he 1) has just started to work there since he doesn’t know how to do anything without sitting reading a manual throughout and 2) if he has never worked with children before.
Tuesday night, I made sure that “Gubby” went to bed early, so that he would be awake, alert and at his best at 9:00 yesterday morning. I went to bed myself as well, in reasonable time. But, neither of us had a good night. He sleeps between T. and me, and I know that he woke a couple of times during the night and when T. left for work. I was awake then myself, since I had terrible nightmares all night about the testing and other things. But we were not too tired, I thought, when we headed to BUP. “Gubby” was disappointed that we were not heading for pre-school and I tried to tell him “You are going to go play with F. Remember the toy with the cookie monster that sang and the other toys? That is where we are going today but today you are going to do something else.” And he trusted me the little sweetheart. We arrived in good time and was let in at 9:00. I had paid parking till 11:10 since F. had told me it takes two hours to do the test.
When we came in, “Gubby” wanted to play with the football game that F. has standing in the corner of his office, so it was difficult to get him to sit down by the table and arm chairs instead. But he complied. F. got out these tiny little cubes and handed three to “Gubby” and then F. started reading his manual for a minute and then told “Gubby” to build what he was building. Which was a little three cube tower. Then he asked him to copy again, read the manual for a minute, and placed the three red cubes in another pattern. This went on for I don’t know how long but I could see how “Gubby” was getting more and more bored with the activity and started to make his own patterns instead or mirror images of what F. made. And F. took long notes! I by this time wanted to throttle the psychologist and tell him “Excuse me but why did you not read up on this test before we walked in here? Why do you have to read the manual for every thing you do?”. Suddenly he decided to abandon the cubes even though I saw many more patterns he was supposed to make for “Gubby” to copy. For heaven sakes, he could just have looked at the pictures. Who needs to be IQ-tested here????
Then he started showing pictures to “Gubby”. An example would be four squares making a big square. In three of the squares you have a banana in each. Then under the big square you have four squares in a row with a picture in each. A banana, a football, a teddy bear, an orange. Then F. would ask “What should be in the empty fourth square?”. And “Gubby” would point at the banana. Except, F. would not pay attention so he asked a second time, every time “what goes in the empty square?” whereupon “Gubby” sat there thinking he had pointed wrong. The more he went through the pictures, the more insecure “Gubby” got and started pointing at all four squares since F. kept repeating “which is the right answer?”. Idiot! This is a sure way to tire the child, make the child get ants in its pants, and sure enough “Gubby” more and more begged to get to go play with the football game. So finally, we had to take a break.
When the break was over, I was so distraught that I had to bite my lip not to cry. “Gubby” laid down in the armchair and yawned. I made him sit up. He laid down. I pulled him up to sitting position. The he started laughing out loud, telling me about a film he had seen the day before. And I had to tell him “not know”. I could see where this was going. Us being sent home to come back over and over again, just like when they were testing “Kitty” five years ago. I just wanted it over and done with so this nightmare can stop. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to go there anymore!!!! F. started asking him “What colour does grass have?”. -He doesn’t know the colours! “Can you tell me all animals that you can think of?”. “Gubby” wasn’t even listening anymore. He was sliding on the armchair, yawning, telling me how tired he was, putting his bootclad feet on the table. Everything he has never ever done before! This was not my little boy at all. This was his brother “Kitty”. “Where does milk come from?”. – You can’t ask him abstract questions like these. He knows all sorts of animals, that milk comes from the cow, but he can’t make the association in this sort of conversation.
So, F. finally put his manual aside and took the picture book up again and this time “Gubby” was supposed to see what was wrong in the pictures. This he thought was fun! BUT he does not have the words so he had to point. And when F. did not look at where he pointed and asked a second or third time, “Gubby” again thought he was pointing wrong or sort of gave up, and the more he did this, the more F. took notes. By now, I was ready to rip my hair out, scream, take my child and walk out of there and never come back. When it was time for a football game break again, I was frank and said “It is obvious that he is having a bad day. How can this test really show anything if a child is not performing at its top most? This is not giving a truthful picture at all. Nor does a one hour visit at the pre-school show you enough, what he is really like!”. I don’t know what F. thought, but he made sure that I understood that he felt he had seen enough.
We sat down and he pulled out a puzzle. “Gubby” built it in a couple of seconds. Too bad F. was sitting with his nose so deep in his manual that he did not see it, nor time it! When he looked up he just said “oh, you’ve already built it!”. Then he stood up and said we have to come back on Monday and do the last part of the test. I just looked at him and said “Why can’t he get to do the puzzles now? He loves puzzling!”. But he wants us to come back because I just love it so much, to drive in there at 8:30 in the morning on the school holiday when I could have slept long. And I just love wasting our money on parking. We got out to the car 10:20 and this because I had been to the loo. In other words, I could have paid half of what I paid in parking. Money wasted. Hooray!
I was in a foul mood the rest of the day. I cried. I was snappy. I sent an SMS to T. and what else could I say but that F. thinks that our son is brain-dead, that he has nothing between his ears? But I must say that I am seriously thinking about making a formal complaint. If you are going to test someone and your title is psychologist, I take for granted that you know what you are doing. I would not want to take my car to a car mechanic that stands and reads a manual on how to change the break pads, as he was performing the “deed”. Nor would I want to go to a dentist that reads a manual on how to fill a hole, while he is drilling away. If you feel unsure of yourself, you read up on it, BEFORE the event. If you are testing someone, you have to do like a student in for a test, you read and read and read, till you know the “stuff”. And if you feel unsure, during the testing, yes, you can throw a glance at the manual but what he does is not throw a glance. He is sitting reading the manual throughout. Which makes me think that he has not worked at BUP long or he would have enough experience to not need a manual. Secondly it makes me think that he is not used to work with children, since he then would be used to them not having the verbal skills for everything and that one has to look for body language and hand movements to see the answers. I have lost all confidence for that place now. And we are still waiting for “Boo” to start being tested. “Scotty, beam me up! Please!”