Monday, January 30, 2012

And The Boy Struggles On

My son is a remarkable person. I'd guess that most people who meet him will remember him for a long time. My evidence of this is when we visited Amish country one year later and one of the Amish ladies asked us if we'd been there before. We said yes but there was no spark to her memory until K Man came around the corner and started chatting with her. "Oh yes!" she said, recognition breaking through. "I remember him!" He makes an impression.

When we finally had him tested for ADHD and learning disabilities, it was a hard decision to make. I worried that he would be diagnosed with ADHD and we'd have to put him on medication. I worried he'd be a different kid. It turned out that he was "borderline" ADHD which led us to test him for learning disabilities.

Short story, for those who haven't read about it, is that he has "a disorder of written expression" which is a round-about way of saying he has dyslexia. (Or a more specific way of describing the area of his particular disability.)

We met with the principal of his school who then met with K's teacher and other staff to make a plan for him. The plan was implemented last quarter. Or at least we thought it was.

My son's self-esteem has dropped. Kids at school are teasing him because he "won't get enough points to pass" second grade. His teacher told me she didn't have time to do some of the things in the plan. He started refusing to do even math problems that he knows how to do (saying he didn't know how to do them). That was a big signal to me that he is feeling badly.

I take some of the blame in that I didn't speak up immediately. So now we've lost an entire quarter of my son's academics staying at a flat line once again instead of moving forward.

I spoke with the principal again and he spoke with my son's teacher (who, I'm told, was crying and the kids thought she was being fired. ::guilt::) and the plan is supposedly going to be followed now. MY plan includes checking on the plan at least once a week.

I can admit that my social anxiety gets in the way sometimes, but I will definitely advocate for my kids. I also need to do more reading about how to help teach my son. What have other parents of kids who struggle with dyslexia done?

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mayberry said...

My child does not have dyslexia, however a fellow fourth-grade classmate does. The other child is new to the school (which is Montessori, so not instantly familiar to a kid who hasn't been previously exposed) and has dyslexia and dysgraphia. At the beginning of the year my daughter was asked to be the new child's "mentor", helping her understand Montessori materials and written instructions. My kid does not even know that her friend has learning challenges but I think it has been a positive experience for both.

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