1.23.2008

The first word of special needs is SPECIAL!


So this week is school conferences week. Both of my conferences were yesterday. We have 45 minutes with each teacher to hear how each child is doing. I adore both of my boys' teachers. They are great teachers and are both really committed to their jobs. Little Mister's teacher arrives each morning at 6 am to get organized for the day and Little Lawyer's teacher stays so late the custodian waits for her to leave each night to lock up! We have been so pleased this year (and basically every year) with their teachers and their progress. Little Lawyer's conference went exactly as I expected. He is very bright, works hard, great example to others, thrilled about the Robotics Team, loving the Gifted Program ... etc. Little Mister's conference went well, but these are always very hard for me. He works hard and is a great kid, but he has a lot of things working against him. When they put them into words I always feel like I have been hit with a ton of bricks. I know what my baby deals with and how frustrated he gets, but there are times I truly believe he is pretty close to "normal". He has more good days now then bad ones and sometimes I actually get to belive he is a "normal" six year old. Even though this year has been a huge success, he is still struggling. Every time I have to sit down and discuss what he struggles with I am heart broken. If he chose to be an average student that would be one thing, but to only be able to be an average student is another for me. His teacher feels his is doing really well, but will always struggle to be the middle of the pack. I was a bright child with great motivation! I did not have to work for my grades. I could remember information and studied very little! I did not appreciate this at all. I truly regret that!
After struggling all evening with all the things his teacher and I discussed I have been able to step back and look at the big picture ...
1. He is fully included into the regular curriculum far before we thought he would be.
2. He is performing academically just like an average kindergartener!
3. He is not relying on his special ed assistant as much I as I thought he would.
4. His teacher and all the support staff adore him.
5. He is a hard worker.
6. He is a perfectionist.
7. He is now going to therapy one day a week instead of the original three days.
8. He is truly special!
The rest of the information just doesn't matter. He is a great kid. He has made such a large jump in his abilities in the last eight months with therapy. He struggles, I struggle ... but he is doing well! Last night before dinner he made a painting on the computer. It has a blue background with a red heart in the middle. The center of the heart has my name in it in his adorable handwriting! I found it this morning when I sat down at the computer! Yes, he struggles and I struggle ... but I wouldn't trade him for anything!

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