It's been a really long time since my last post. And I didn't even do a good job of finishing Scoliosis Awareness Month!
We've been really busy ~ and so has my e-mail... more on that in future posts :)
Makenna just started kindergarten. She loves every day! I am so grateful for the smooth tranisition for her.
While starting school is exciting, all that paperwork comes with a whole new set of questions.
"Please list all medical conditions".
Really? Can I send in some research articles to go with that? Is it helpful for you to know ~ without actually knowing what it is?
I know this things are important for educators to be aware of. Trust me ~ I know from first hand experience. I once taught a student for 6 months before I was aware she had spina bifida (wasn't in the paperwork). She was three when I first got her in class. Each week, something would concern me about her motor planning. It was borderline normal for 3, but over time it just didn't sit right. After double checking her birth date and realzing she was almost 4 ~ I approached mom. I explained that I was concerned with her motor planning and thought she should run it by her pediatrician and see if he/she thought it might warrant further investigation. "Well, she has spina bifida. So her coordination is going to be a little off. That's why she's here." :) Hmmm...that would have been helpful to know.
So I know that the information is pertinent, I just don't know in what detail I should present it. How much information does the teacher need? How much will she use? How much is too much? Will it effect how she is treated in the classroom?
All of these questions make me understand why some parents are reluctant to lay out their child's potential weaknesses. I never understood this before Makenna. The fear is that the teacher will only teach to the expectation set forth. "Well, if she can't track... she'll probably be a bad reader." etc... And these are natural human thought and conclusions ~ so I would never fault anyone for having them.
But, I have been adamant about the fact that I will not handicap Makenna before she needs it. I will simply be prepared to respond if she shows signs of difficulty. Even though Makenna's vision is good - minus that pesky tracking thing, I have had in depth conversations with vision specialist on how to help children read who have trouble seeing. I haven't employed a single strategy they gave me ~ because Makenna hasn't shown signs that she needs them.
I'm not going to assume she needs the help... but I'm going to be prepared if she does.
It's a brave new world. Makenna is meeting it head on. Just this morning, Abby felt as if Makenna was making fun of her for being a 'scardy cat' because of an incidence last week where she freaked out when the lights went out. I tried to explain to Abby that Makenna wasn't on purpose making fun of her and couldn't possible string those things together over a weeks time. I emphasized that it was Abby's perception of Makenna's comments because she was sensitive to her comments because of "the event".
In her five year old wisdom, Makenna reminded us all, "That's right Abby. I see things the way I see them, and you see things the way you see them. That's because we have a different reality."
Once again ~ Thank you, Makenna, for putting it all in perspective and teaching me a thing or two:) Love that kid! At least I don't have to worry that she's not very clever!