8/14/08

Holy Moly!

I am tired! Wiped out! Utterly exhausted! The emotional roller coaster is interesting. My two main symptoms that I'm not functioning at 100% are eating melted chocolate chips drizzled over pretzels and standing in the middle of a room, staring at the wall, with no memory of how I got there. Good times.

Today was the conference meeting with the school principal, teacher, special education teachers, and our tutor. I felt about 5 years old and was sure I was going to melt under the emotional marathon, but all in all it was a great meeting. Our child's teacher is amazing, and is already happy to accommodate us in any way. The bigger issues revolve around instructional help for our child. In special education circles, you have many, many philosophies and ideas about how kids' brains work and how best to treat areas where a child is falling behind. The big problem is everyone thinks their way is best--and that their way is the only way. So our tutor is reaaallllly pushing the word dyslexia to the hilt, while another special ed. teacher doesn't like to use the word dyslexia and won't treat it as such. There are theories, remediation, trainings, interventions for the same issue but they all go about treating it in different ways. No one was really arguing, but I found myself saying things to make everyone happy.

From my perspective, I just want my child to feel good at school and learn how to spell and write. I don't care how it happens, just that it does.

So our kiddo gets to have a small word processing laptop for their desk and we will be encouraging them to use it as much as possible. I can see it being a very slow start--picture laborious pecking at each letter--but as they get more comfortable using it we hope the speed will pick up. Our child will also have a lighter homework load, and will be able to dictate long written answers for big tests. I will also meet again with the teacher tomorrow to find out what the day to day schedule looks like in the classroom and how we can best modify it for our babe. I want to be the teacher's ally, her helper, and I want her to know that we don't want to burden her with extra accommodations for our child, just that we want our child to enjoy school again.

From here on out it is a week to week, bit by bit, moving forward. We can start remediation but will they be enough? Can we get more? We can get accommodations in the classroom, but will they work? Are they realistic? We will know a little more as time goes by.

Thanks for listening through all of this. It's very, very hard to really describe how tough this has all been. My heart goes out to the many parents that have to navigate the "system" for even bigger issues than what we're dealing with. And we're the ones who are pro public school and David works for the district!

7 comments:

Old Men Reflect said...

make the kid feel good, and every one else can &&&&&&&&&&&&&&.

Heather & Adam said...

Wow, you are so on this! It really sounds like your babe has a great support team to help them really get a handle on this school year. Cathy, you are an inspiration as a mother. XOXO.

Mark and Sarah said...

Cathy, hang in there. Today's meeting sounds like it was really a huge step forward, even if you felt like you were being tossed around a bit. I think that as this big "D" word becomes more hashed out in how it affects your precious child, you will feel more confident in how to steer their support team to spur them on to love school again. Keep your chin up (and I think I'll go have chocoalte chips and pretzels now too!).

Jane said...

Although my son is in his 20's, I can still feel your pain. Please know your child will learn how to best utilize accomodations offered. Your child will discover many new ways to learn and once they taste the success of learning all your lives will once again be warmed by their sunny smile. My son took a different educational route than most but proudly graduated with his B.A. this May. From readers' comments, it's obvious you are surrounded by friends ready to celebrate every success!

jayme said...

You are awesome parents!

I'm one who's not wild about labels. From a paperwork standpoint, they can be useful for understanding what things might be a challenge for certain children, but each child is different, and each "diagnosis" or learning difference will manifest in a unique way. I much prefer building on strengths than focusing on deficiencies.

if i have faith in anybody helping their kiddo regain a love of learning, it's you!

Deirdre said...

I'm so glad plans are coming together and that you have such a cooperative group of people working to make life happy again for your little one. So sorry you're going through it at all, though.

Chatter said...

Wow. That's a lot going on Cathy. You are a champ and good for you and hubby for being such wonderful advocates for your children.

Eat some pretzals for me :)