Monday, October 29, 2007


After the sleepover on Saturday night, I drove the kids to religious school in the morning. Zach and N took a few books about firefighters and fire engines into the car with them, and Zach read them to N.

Moment one: Zach is about six months younger than N, but is reading at a level WAY above most 6-year-olds. To wit, he read sentences that said, "The fire engine speeds through the intersection," and "The firefighters prepare their equipment," without hesitation. N, listening, suddenly says to me, "Mama, Zach is a much better reader than me."

"Yes, he is, sweetie," I replied, still driving. "But soon, with some practice, you'll be able to read those words, too."

"Oh, I know," he replied, and he and Zach bent their heads together to continue the story. "I was just telling you."

Moment two: N points to a picture in the book. "That firefire is climbing a HUGE ladder!"

"It's a fireFIGHTER," Zach replies, emphasizing the t sound in the second half of the word.

"I said firefire," N says, slightly irritated.

I intervene. "Zach, sometimes N has a little trouble with some words, but he was trying to say firefighter."

For several minutes after, N keeps trying the word out, trying to get that pesky T to stay where it's supposed to. It was clearly hard work.

Me, I was sitting there thinking simply, "That's one of the first times ever that someone his own age has corrected his speech," and trying to figure out if that was a good thing, or a bad thing, or...

Moment three: I'll tell you what was an unqualified first and a Very Good Thing, though. Later on Sunday, after I'd driven both boys back to our house (where Zach's mom and dad and a couple of other families from temple joined us for a late lunch and birthday celebration for one of the other kids), N and Zach were on the front porch, and N saw his friend B from across the street and called to him to come over. And then N, Zach, and B went into our backyard and played together for a while--three first-grade boys, connected through N. N, with two different friends, having fun. Thank you, god.

We finally got the assessment plan from the school district on Friday, and as I suspected, it had only speech and OT listed. I'm on a deadline right now (which is why I'm blogging, of course), but as soon as that's done, later today, I'm going to sit down and write a draft letter in response to the plan. My basic idea is that it will say that I do indeed want these assessments to be done and that I give my permission for them, but that I also believe a social/emotional assessment is essential to the process, and to N's success in school. I will then likely add that by diagnosing and suggesting medication for my son in the team meeting last week--before ever meeting him--the school psychologist has removed himself as the person who should be allowed to do that assessment. I will then ask the district to recommend who *they would like to pay* to do such an assessment, since the school psychologist's suggestion in the meeting that I should have him assessed myself (since, you know, I have private insurance) was equally inappropriate.

I am so over these people, I can not even begin to tell you. But I do hope to begin to tell THEM.


po said...

You GO girl!! Those are just the right things to be saying in your response letter.

And that was thrilling to read, that N bridged between two friends and made them all friends together. I'd give my left arm for Matthew to be able to do that.

Green said...

Crucial. Use the word "crucial" in regards to N having a social /emotional assessment.

Holy shit, positive peer pressure is powerful crap. I used to work as a teacher's aide, and ANY time one kid was trying to help another, as long as they did it nicely, I ALWAYS stepped back and let kids help other kids. Kids care SO MUCH about what other kids think of them, and kids are really in tune with what their peers are not quite understanding, and know just the right way to present things. Sometimes I had to interrupt to put them in the right mindset (like what you said to Zach, and by reminding the kid who's struggling to have patience with themselves), but peer teaching is HUGE.