Friday, October 21, 2011

Yea! Good news

It is wonderful to have good news to share.  We had the therapy meeting 1.5 weeks ago, and the teacher meeting 1 week ago.  The therapist was impressed by how well H is doing.  She can look at and repeat 9 numbers at a time (how did that happen?  We have never practiced more than 8 at a time).  Her responses to physical stimuli are good.  Her crawling and walking is good.  We are still to work on the juggling more as well as the visual and auditory stimuli.  She still needs to work on her eye muscles as well.

When we met with the teacher she said H had been behaving well the past few days.  At the time I thought it was probably just a few good days for H.  However for the entire past week she has behaved well at school.  This is huge.  She has also been finishing most of her work at school so that we don't have as much homework.  And her last few spelling tests have been Cs instead of Fs.  It is the only subject she is failing, so I feel encouraged by the trend.  Her other grades were Bs, with one high C in science due to two tests that she didn't study and failed.  Her teacher said that now that she is doing the quantity of work expected, we need to work on the quality of work.  Her sentence structures are at a 3rd grade level at best (hmmm....and I was always thrilled for her to simply have a whole sentence rather than a fragment).  I think she can come up with the complexity that a 4th grade student would, she just hates to write and therefore writes as little as possible.  We have given her some extra-large paper with the hope that this will give her more room to write more detailed sentences.

Overall her maturity seems so much better, and yet she has not lost her fun-loving nature or her goofiness.  I am so glad, since that is what makes her unique and was one of the things we lost when she was on ADHD medicine.  I know there are still challenges ahead.  She still requires more teacher attention than most children, and still tends to be distracted easily.  Her organizational skills are still non-existant.  But I feel like we are now on the tail end of normal, rather than being out in the land of disadvantaged or disability.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First quarter of school

So much has happened this past month.  It has been a series of ups and downs (what else is new about that?).  It is one step forward, one step back.  Or is it one-and-a-half steps forward and only one step back?  Sometimes it is hard to tell.  But at least I can say we aren't getting worse.

On the good side of things, H is still doing great with math.  She still has to do some of her math schoolwork at home, but she does it quickly and rarely has more than 10 problems to do anyway.
H has also done really well on her book reports.  She tells me what she wants to say in it, I write it down, and then she copies what I wrote to hand in.  This gets around the problem of her thoughts being faster (and fleeting) than her writing.

Spelling is still a problem; she has been getting 40s and 50s on her tests.  However, after trying many things, her teacher recommended we use a chalk board and flashcards to study the words.  That has seemed to help.  At the very least she doesn't mind writing with the multicolored chalk we bought.  And I think writing the large letters, using her arm more than her fingers, is easier than regular writing for her.  So this makes studying less of a chore, and therefore we study more.  On her last spelling test (the first one after we started using this method) she made a 73% on her test.  So I feel like we are making progress there.

Her creativity has been enormous lately.  She is designing and sewing outfits for her stuffed animals.  She is making clay sculptures (we love sculpty clay) of her favorite animals.  She is making small books.  She is drawing all the time.  And she is happy.  And she is loving.  I do realize how blessed we are.

So what are the steps backward?  Her teacher said she still moves constantly, and has to be brought back on task alot.  Even worse, she mentioned that if her grades don't improve, she will have to repeat 4th grade (I am a bit confused over that; I think spelling is the only thing she is failing.  She has gotten some really low grades in science and english, but that is balanced by some really good grades too).  And as another low, the scouting troop leaders said H can come back only if I or another adult specifically assigned to H were to come, for those times she has behavioural issues.  This really took me by surprise, as last year things seemed so good there.  But I do know she is a problem at times.  Since I have the other kids and can't leave them by themselves, H is not is scouting this year.  Instead she is taking flag football and loving it.  I think God's providence was in that little move.

And onward we go: we will be meeting with the therapist again this week.  It is the first time since school started.   The therapist and I will also be meeting with H's teacher later in the week to see what we can do to help H's teacher.  I think she is beginning to be overwhelmed by H.  She has been a huge help.  She has started to give H a sheet telling her every day what books she needs to bring home and what assignments she needs to do.  She is also assigning H stars for good behaviour each day: and if she misses a star, I am told why, which lets me have some good talks about what is socially acceptable and what is not.  Things that I think of as obvious, like not looking toward bathroom stalls because you can see through those cracks in the door, never occur to H.

So I will try to post again soon, to let you know how all the meetings went.