Wednesday, 28 August 2013

An Encouraging Start

Quick update on Mr. Jack’s first week of school.  Despite the two calls from school the first day, and the call from the Assistant Principal yesterday, things are going swimmingly.  The call yesterday was not about anything Jack had done wrong but rather because he said something that worried her.  When he saw her, he told her he had a feeling he would be coming to the principal’s office soon, and be staying there forever.  Luckily I recognized these words immediately as a direct quotation from the movie “Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman” and was able to reassure her.  She thought that he saw her and thought he was in trouble.  Although he did say something a little worrisome about being in trouble and needing extra help.  I think he may be actually noticing that he has more help than the other kids around him, so we will need to work on him understanding that it’s not because he did anything wrong or because he is in trouble, but because he just needs some help.

When I spoke with the assistant principal she also had some very encouraging things to say.  She observed him for a few minutes and noted that he was way more engaged than the last time she had watched him (last year), was doing his work appropriately, and staying in his seat.  I was really hoping that having his own individual desk, rather than the tables they use in the kindergarten setting would help give him a sense of boundaries and of where he is in space, which is something he really struggles with.  It seems to be working.  So despite the fact that I have had 3 mini-strokes each time the phone rang with the school on caller id, I have already gotten some really positive feedback.

The trend is continuing at home when we do his homework.  Which they started the second day of school for first graders- sigh.  Jack had swim lessons at 5:30 last night and we didn’t get home until nearly seven.  And we had to sit down and do homework.  Which he did- without complaint.  Not only without complaint, but the number of prompts required to prod him along was significantly decreased.  Even tonight, when homework involved the dreaded “cutting with scissors”, I told him to get started cutting out the required words while I worked on something else (figuring we would actually start the work when I was done, as never in the past has he actually followed through).  But lo and behold, I turned around and he was half way done!!!

You know, I often grumble that there is so much work involved in raising my special needs kids.  Maybe I don’t mention this part often enough.  When I see progress- the payoff is HUGE.  I feel like Jack is capable of climbing Everest right now.  I am starting this school year with a much more hopeful attitude than I was expecting.  I have been so worried, but after these few days I am starting to think that the growth that I thought I was seeing these past few months was not my imagination after all. I’ll never know if it’s normal growing up, OT, all the work we do at home, the study drug, or the chanting we do after he goes to bed (kidding!) but frankly I don’t care why it’s happening, I’m just ecstatic.

And tomorrow morning it’s time to put Natey back on the bus.  Still not used to putting such a little guy on a big yellow bus…

1 comment:

  1. Yea! That's awesome Jenny. Michael's first say is tomorrow. He has 2 by himself and another in a cluster of kids. He uses his alone desk when he is frustrated and needs a quiet space. I think he will have a good year but we went for "sneak a peek" tonight where he ran into his speech teacher. While she was talking with him, he was not making eye contact. She reminded him and he got very annoyed with her. We'll see...hopefully we will have a good start just like you!