Thursday, August 22, 2013

Roller Coaster Day

The teachers and administration of our school make up the class lists for the following school year sometime in early June, but the individual assignments aren't mailed home until late August.  (I suspect because the principal doesn't want to listen to parental grumbling about class assignments for any longer than she has to.)  The letters were mailed this past Tuesday, so Wednesday morning the texts started to fly: "my kid has Teacher X, which one did yours get?"

Always a nervewracking day.  And unfortunately, it also happened to be the same day as Thing Two's annual appointment with the neurodevelopmental pediatrician.  The mail truck arrived about half an hour before we had to leave for the hospital where she works.

This is Petunia's first year at this school, so we aren't really plugged into the grapevine for her grade yet.  One close friend from last year's school is transferring with her, and both girls happen to have the same (wonderful) teacher--this is jumping-for-joy kind of news.  We knew who Thing Two would be getting already, and understand the reasoning behind it...we'll just have to see how it goes.  For Thing One, all three potential teachers are good, and we are very happy with the one he was assigned--as icing on the cake, several of his best friends are with him as well.  So overall, the teacher news was happy news, and we left for the hospital in good spirits.

I absolutely dread Thing Two's appointments with this particular doctor, for the record.  She is a lovely woman and very professional--it has nothing to do with her personally.  It's just very, very hard to watch her test him and then to have to sit through a discussion of his shortcomings.

He's making progress, God knows.  We should be grateful for that, and we are.  Many kids with his language processing issues do poorly in school and have serious learning delays, and somehow he's managed to avoid that.  Quite the opposite, actually.  Just to look at the kid's report card, you'd never know he has such a major language processing issue.  Of course, you talk to him for 30 seconds and it is painfully clear, though.  The good news is that she is now pretty much convinced that he is not on the spectrum (this can be unclear in younger kids--there is a lot of overlap)--she believes that all of his issues are secondary to the language problem.  But it's one hell of a language problem.  She's still describing it as "severe," which kills me.  I gather that we are still doing all the right things at home and that the school's plan for him is a good one--we were told to keep doing what we're doing, which I guess is good.

Clearly the kid is bright, which will be his salvation.  His IQ tests as normal overall even with the language problem--who knows how well he'd score if he actually understood all the questions?  He reads at third to fourth grade level, spells at 6th grade level (!!) and his math is third grade level.  Not bad for a rising second grader who has trouble constructing a grammatical sentence and struggles badly with short-term auditory memory.

Still, it's clear that this is going to be an uphill battle of long duration for both him and us, and that annual reminder is profoundly depressing.  It always takes me a day or so to bounce back emotionally after these appointments.

Since I'm not going to be able to make this morning's taekwondo class, I decided to go last night after we got home from the doctor.  Figured it would be a good opportunity to hit something hard and vent some steam, since it is a board-breaking week.  I've been frustrated for some time with the classes, since I don't seem to be making much progress.  I don't know if I'm beginning to hit my physical limit or if I'm just going to the wrong classes, since the stripes just aren't coming.  Last night was no exception.  Kicked and struck the hell out of the boards, which did make me feel better, but no board-breaking stripe for no reason I'm aware of.  Oh well.  This endeavor will teach me patience, I guess.  Himself keeps reminding me that I take the classes for exercise and to learn, which is true.

In the "work-on-your-own-material" period at the end of class, I watched a girl (a very sweet one, whom I happen to like very much) who is also a Blue belt flawlessly executing one of the kicks at our belt level that has been a struggle for me.  I can do it, but for me it looks awkward still and hers is a thing of beauty.  I just can't fly through the air like a girl of 14.  It isn't going to happen, and reality bites.  But then, I saw her becoming very distraught toward the end of class because (I gather from her friend) she is being picked on by the 'mean girls' and really doesn't want to start high school.  In the grand scheme of things, some things are a lot worse than not having the athletic ability of a slender teenager, and that was a good perspective reminder for me too.            

So, one day: some high highs and some low lows.  Just working on maintaining my equilibrium through it all.


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