Friday, January 5, 2007

Them There are Fighting Words

Today started off so well... I already had several e-mails from Moosie's teachers and therapists after his first day of school. They were full of interest and the desire to communicate. I took the time to respond, thanking them for their quick responses, and stated my up front questions and concerns. I even received immediate pleasant, helpful responses.

Fast forward to this afternoon when the behavior therapist is helping me learn how to manage some of Bubba's behavioral issues. She observed as I worked through tantrums, time outs, ripped up papers-- and then once we were actually doing the homework, significant anxiety, frustration, confusion, and constant distraction.

The homework was counting by tens and ones and then stating 10 less and 10 more. When we flipped the paper over and the homework was regarding the same concept but with dimes and pennies, Bubba himself flipped, "This is too hard, this is confusing, I can't do this one! I can't do this one!"

While working through Bubba's homework, I glanced at Bubba's report card that he brought home today. As I noticed earlier this year, his 'grades' are falling. No surprise; I already discussed my concerns with his case manager and stated that I was planning on calling an IEP meeting this month to discuss issues and strategies to help Bubba compensate.

But to my shock, neatly written in the comment section was the following:

"He would excel academically if he read more at home and completed book reports."

I was so fucking mad I nearly ripped up his report card, I started pacing anxiously, and I thought the behavior therapist was going to have to restrain me.

First off, we read nearly every night for about 30 minutes. And starting over Christmas break, as we've helped Bubba reduce his anxiety, he has begun to read more himself. He struggles with decoding, but his persistence is growing. Regarding the book reports, it was discussed after first quarter that we could modify the book reports by having discussions with Bubba and then I would write down what we talked about. Although we have had numerous discussions, I do take fault that I haven't sent in all of the papers yet.

Regardless, what kind of crap is it to say a kid would do better academically if he did more book reports? I'm all for literacy, in fact out of all things academic, that remains our priority here at home. But come on, show me the data that a child with neurodevelopmental disabilities will magically excel academically if he reads more at home...

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