When the body was eleven, the school had us evaluated by their educational psychologist. He didn’t do intelligence testing, just an assessment of our emotional/behavioral functioning. He concluded we needed to go residential at the school for the blind we were at back then, and according to my parents denied our intellligence. My parents obviously didn’t agree, as they wanted us to stay home and go to regular education. Of course, I sometimes wonder which would’ve been better, but I at the time didn’t want to be institutionalized at all, so was thankful that my parents fought the psychologist. They took us for a second opinion with an educational psychologist at another school for the blind. This psychologist had evaluted us several times before. She did intelligience testing as well as an assessment of emotional/behavioral functioning, observed us and talked to us. She concluded we were highly intelligent, but did have emotional and behavioral problems, difficulty coping with our blindness, and some other things. She advised us to stay in special ed, but there wasn’t any talk of going residential. We knew by the time of this second opinion that we had to put up an image of ourselves. Fortunately (I say now) this psychologist caught us lying.
So far so good. Even though it was stressful being evaluated, I understood my parents’ reasoning. However, instead of taking the advice for what it was, my parents waited just a year and had us re-evaluated. For a reason I consider suspicious, they chose an ed psych who had never seen a blind child before. I lied even more on this third evaluation, and this psychologist didn’t find out. He did intelligence testing again and some emotional evaluation too, but obviously nothign specific to blind children. I lied on the very pointed questions about emotional wellbeing. Therefore, there are things I know to be blatantly false in the report. For example, the psychologist reported we had no issues with low self-worth, while at the time I can honestly say we were seriously depressed – possibly the closest to major depression we’ve ever been.
This psychologist recommended we try out the remainder of the school year (the eval took place in January) at a regular school. The special school I was attending at the time (a different school for the blid again) wanted us to go to a school in that town, but our parents had set their and my eyes on what would become our secondary school. They pushed our admission to the school and, instead of using the remainder of the school year as a test period, they had us sit in with a seventh grade class for a few days once we had already been accepted. We couldn’t be fully honest by that time, and have kept a lot to ourselves throughout secondary school.
In a way, I understand our parents’ actions. They badly wanted us to get the best education. This makes it even harder for me to cope with. I am not sure whether this keeping up appearances happened more often, but I suspect it did. This affects some of us very negatively. Jane is a master at keeping up a shiny image. Of course not always, as her idetifying herself was one of the first signs that we are DID for our therapist. In general, however, and especially when doing structured evaluations, she’s a good liar. It’s not necessarily about keeping up appearances of great emotional health. I’ve suspected for a while now that it is more a general adherence to whatever the person most in authority at the moment wants us to be like.