A lot has happened in the last couple weeks and I’ve just been out of touch with blogging about it. I have many draft posts in my dashboard and I just can’t seem to find the creativity to finish them and hit publish. I have a post about the first conference of the year, the annual IEP, My get away weekend (bliss), the roller skating birthday party, and I even started the obligatory “thanks for everything” post on Thanksgiving. Now too much time has gone by and other things are happening and I’ve decided to combine them into a catch-up post. I’ll try to keep it brief…
I went to the first conference of this important Kindergarten year a couple weeks ago. I woke up early on that morning with a bit of a pit in my stomach. Most likely I will be forever anxious about this child. Is he learning? I know he can memorize, but are things clicking? Comprehension? Is he coping? Is he making friends? During open house a couple months ago I was relieved to hear that he was adjusting to school and had been doing well. I knew I would get more detail about his day and how he was doing academically at this conference. And just like at the open house, I was relieved to hear that he is adjusting both socially and academically. He is learning to regulate his behavior and use his words when upset or frustrated instead of lashing out. In fact, his aggressive behaviors are almost nonexistent! He is starting to interact more with his peers, though the adults have to help him initiate conversation. He is following directions and is listening. He is answering questions. What amazed me more was that academically right now he is in the middle of the pack. Last year when he had his four old year school psychology evaluation I was devastated when she showed me where she placed him on the bell curve and explained his IQ scores to me. I held out hope that she was wrong, and that as his language increased he would show everyone just how smart he is, and am so glad I did. I know that he is behind many of his peers in many areas, but I was pleased to hear that he is actually above some in certain areas! That was something I didn’t expect and while I try my hardest not to compare it was nice to hear that he was good at something.
The break was lovely. Christa and I had a wonderfully relaxing weekend during which we got massages, shopped the outlets (and I only looked at stuff for me), ate lots of good food, watched 3 chick flicks (and realized just how predictable they are after watching so many!), chatted and generally relaxed. It was wonderful and I had much more patience to deal during the Thanksgiving marathon week when the Roc was home from school. We will definitely repeat the experience.
While I was away on my mini-break GC took the Roc to a birthday party at a roller skating rink. Hello sensory overload! According to GC (who is always a little short on details for me) the party went fine. The Roc tried rollerskating but it was more like him hanging from GC’s arms while GC slowly pulled and pushed him around the rink. The end of skating came quickly after the Roc got his leg tangled in GC’s and they both tumbled down. He shed a few tears and wanted to watch from the sidelines after that. The birthday boy came over a few times and sat with the Roc, which was very nice of him. Apparently this little boy figured out that the Roc likes to be tickled so he kept coming over to tickle him. I wish I could have witnessed those interactions. The rink was loud and busy with no less than 6 birthday parties going on at once so lots of people, movement, noise, and flashing lights. Basically a sensory nightmare for someone with some sensory issues. The Roc coped and GC said he did seem to shut down toward the end, but he held himself together long enough to get his cupcake. I’m so glad he went, and that GC took him despite his reservations, and that the Roc tried rollerskating!
We had the Roc’s annual IEP meeting last week and it went well. His teacher had given me a list of goals she wanted to add to his IEP during the conference and I thought they were written well and was pleased to see some academic goals being added. He has met, or almost met most of the goals written while in preschool and his current teacher kept many and just altered them to reflect the next phase of development for him. Following one step directions was expanded to following two step directions, working on a non preferred task was expanded to working on task for 5 minutes, responding to verbal cues to interact with peers was expanded to sustaining conversations for 5-6 turns, etc. Overall it was a good meeting. Only at the end when we briefly touched on getting together again in the spring for a placement meeting to decide which setting will be appropriate for next year, and that short conversation started my anxiety about whether to have the Roc repeat a grade. I mentioned that I was told that he could do this more supported Kindergarten this year and do a regular inclusion Kindergarten next year. The special ed administrator firmly stated that if the Roc is still doing so well academically at the end of the year there won’t be a valid reason to hold him back…I’m going to try to shelve my fears about this for a little while and see how he progresses by spring time. Maybe he will be ready for 1st grade by then. Last year I certainly didn’t think he would be ready for Kindergarten at 5 and he’s doing well, he may surprise me again.
I started a Thanksgiving post that morning and planned on taking pictures throughout the day to emphasize what I was thankful for. I photographed the pie I baked that morning, our annual “Harvest Pie” (apples, pears, & cranberries — sooo yummy!), but I just didn’t continue taking them throughout the day and I abandoned that idea. We did have a nice day and we have a lot to be thankful for. In the interest of length I won’t list them all, it’s the standard stuff anyway. Instead of just the three of us we had one other person attend our Thanksgiving meal, GC’s friend Greg who started medical school in Washington D.C. back in August. The Roc had lots of fun playing basketball with Greg and he commented on how much the Roc has changed since the last time he saw him during the summer. It was nice to have company during a holiday.
Odds & Ends:
The puppy comes home in two weeks! They are getting their 6 weeks shots today and GC and I are going to see them on Friday morning after getting the Roc on the bus. I’m so excited. What the heck are we getting ourselves into?!
We have decided to rip up our carpet on the first floor and put down laminate wood. The “wood” is scattered about the house now and I’m supposed to be unloading the entertainment center and getting stuff out of the way today. Instead I’ve been talking on the phone, reading blogs, and writing this one. I’d better get to work. The carpet is coming up tomorrow night! Yikes.
Did you read this whole thing?
Well, you must have lots of time on your hands or you’re my mother (or both!)