Last week, the supervisor of Dar’s ABA therapist asked us to complete the latest Vineland survey, which is now Vineland 3. The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale was designed by experts at Pearson Education to measure and quantify degrees of intellectual disability, developmental disorders, and other delays.

I absolutely understand why I am required to fill in this form from time to time. I am a parent of a special-needs child. My child is nowhere near a questionable case, but there are no doubt some children whose “special needs” are more borderline. As taxpayers ourselves, we want our taxes paying for therapy for the truly dire, not just anyone. Besides, regular updates of this form help show progress…if any.

That said, filling in this form destroys me.

The supervisor emailed it and insisted that I do it by the end of the week, adding “it should take about 30 minutes.” Along with it, she sent a very pre-formatted Excel spreadsheet that turned out to be the wrong spreadsheet, designed as it was for the Vineland 2 form. After I told her about this, she sent the right Excel spreadsheet with another question: how soon before I would finish? I might add that this very urgent request did indeed come with the PDF pages exactly as you see them below, apparently scanned third-hand. If this is so important, how about a proper Vineland form?

Anyway, I’m sure said supervisor would have no difficulty filling in such a form in 30 minutes. For me, it’s harder. For me, it’s a damn emotional rollercoaster.

Every question feels like a tiny loss. Every question feels like a tiny “should you have handled this differently as a parent? what were you thinking?” And the scores, oy gevalt, the scores. Thank God that they tell you to move on to the next section after your kid scores four zeroes in a row. In Dar’s case, that tends to happen in about the teens, or in a few lucky sections, in the twenties.

I offer you the full thing that was sent to me. Some of you already know it. But for those that don’t, this is part of my ongoing efforts to let you know what the life of a special-needs parent is like. Not a bowl of cherries. More like a bowl of 2 = Usually, 1 = Sometimes, 0 = Never.

Thanks for checking in and checking it out.