Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks....

OK, so you know that pity-party I was having the other day about my kid suddenly not needing me anymore?

Yea… that lasted…oh, I’d say until about 3:30 that day.

That was when I went on-line and saw his grades.


My kid needs me…badly!

Or maybe it’s just like the “new” math and we have a new grading system.

“F” now stands for “Forget about it.  It’s not important.”

“D” means, “Don’t worry.  I have you covered.”

Now mind you, these aren’t his final grades.  No, that would result in a much different blog post!

These are his grades for his daily, in-class assignments.

Yes, you read that right… in-class.

And all of this is not entirely his fault…or mine…or his teachers’.

Sean attended a school for special needs children for five years.  The staff to student ratio was sometimes less than 2 to 1.  Thus, he had incredible attention paid to his every move.

However, he never got into the mindset of having to independently hand in his work at the end of class when he transitioned to being a “typical” student.

You would think that the teacher stating that everyone should leave their papers on her desk as they leave would remind him to do so.

Or seeing all the other students go up front with paper in hand and then returning without, would jar his thought process.

But it doesn’t.  Sean, at that point in class, is probably thinking about the ten or twenty things he has to do for his next class, the next day, or even New Year’s Eve.

In other words, Sean’s mind has left the building…or at least the room.

Now we have to change Sean’s way of thinking.

I would rather tackle climbing Mt. Everest or solving the global economic crisis, as they would be far easier to achieve.

If I can’t convince Sean to wear long pants in the winter without me constantly nagging him, then how is he going to learn to hand in his assignments without me being there?


Can I say it?  Please??

I don’t know!!!

The “team” that consists of school staff and Rich and myself are going to try to get Sean into a new routine of checking his grades on-line in order to see what he is missing.  In “official” speak, we are going to try to be proactive instead of reactive.

It is a journey....

Will it work?  You all know the answer to that…

It’s frustrating for us because oftentimes those missing assignments are right in his binder, losing points for every day that they continue to reside there.

We know he’s done the work – and probably fairly well.  Sean gets frustrated when we ask him about the missing assingments.  He claims he doesn’t even know what we’re talking about.

For a kid who can describe minute details of things that happened years ago or had the ability to recite 15 to 20 minute monologues verbatim after hearing them when he was barely older than a toddler, Sean can’t remember a worksheet that he did last Thursday.

We’ll figure it out.  We always do.  And then there will be a new issue.  That is the one guarantee in the special needs world.

Keeps life interesting, doesn’t it?

And now speaking of Life… pardon the awkward segue way but I must…

Here in America we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday.  It’s a time for people to come together and give thanks for each other and be grateful for all that is wonderful in their lives.

I will be sharing the day with my family and thinking of all those who have made my life so amazing – especially this past year.

My friend who pushed me to begin this blog told me to ignore the numbers that show how many people check in to see my post.

However, the numbers are, for me, somewhat staggering.

I’m just a mom from the Midwest who writes little more than a diary and puts it up on the Internet.

That “diary” has made it’s way onto screens in over 700 cities in 53 countries.

I can’t even express how mind-boggling that is.

However, I can tell you that when I was having a meltdown, you were there.  And when I write a post and hopefully somehow connect with someone out there, I am happier than I’ve ever imagined I could be.

So this Thursday, along with being grateful for countless other blessings in my life, I will be grateful for how my life has changed.

I will be grateful for the friend who shoved me into this world and made me promise no regrets.

I will be thankful for my family who in some small way still need me.

I will be grateful for the family and friends who have given me grief when I wrote too much, bugged me when I wrote too little, and who sometimes hid from me when they knew I’d ask them if they read my latest post.

And I will thankful for all of you.  You have reached out to me.  You have listened to me.  You have shared your world with me.

A post on facebook the other day said something to the effect that “regular” moms get to share coffee face to face with their friends while “special needs” parents share only user names in on-line support groups.

We have done more than that. 

We have shared our laughter, our fears, our successes and failures.  We have shared our tears… both good and bad.

We have shared more than just a cup of coffee.  We trust each other enough to have shared our lives.

And that, my friends, could not be more special to me.

To the one, the many and each and every one of you out there… with all my heart… Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving!

    I have an idea for you that worked for one of my 6th grade students. It takes extra work, and the teacher has to be on board, but I have found it to be really helpful for my student's grade. He checks his on-line grade often as well. When there is a missing assignment he checks his binder. If he finds it there he scans it and sends it to me in an email. Now if the assignment doesn't end up in my in-box the next day it has been turned in and is no longer losing points. I don't know if that would work for you, but it sure has helped with my student. He has been great about turning in the hard copy, too. This is a student who was missing almost every assignment up until we came up with this system.