Progress report

I don’t think about Jonathan’s development on a day to day basis.  I don’t dwell on the likelihood that he will need more than 18 years to get through high school.  Rather I take comfort in the fact that if we do the right things by Jonathan each day, he will be alright in the end.

Given this rose-colored stumbling through child rearing, I am mostly happy with how things are going.  There are, however, a few times when the reality of the situation comes home and I have to hear and face the fact that Jonathan will be behind “normal” kids of his same age.

When we meet with his teachers for his Individualized Educational Plan (IEP), it is a difficult conversation for me.  This is when I hear that Jonathan is behind and needs help that other kids don’t need.  To me, he is “perfect,” so when we are given unvarnished feedback about where Jonathan needs help, it hurts.

Another memorable conservation of this type was when Jonathan’s fantastic kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McCray, recommended that Jonathan stay back a year before going into first grade.  (Mrs. McCray was the teacher that gave the lesson on bullying in the Deedah DVD.)  Although deep down we knew we would likely have this happen a time or two during his school years, it still stings.  Part of it is to think of the friends he has made drifting on ahead; part of it is the reminder that it will be harder for Jonathan in all the things he strives for.

We have been so blessed to have people supporting Jonathan’s development.  He has teachers who push him to keep up, and paraprofessionals who nurture him with tough love.  These people have become close friends whom we love more than we can express.  Brooke tirelessly sits with Jonathan everyday and makes sure he completes his homework.  We try to read to him every night.  (I have literally been woken up by Jonathan having fallen asleep while trying to read him a bedtime story.)

We also have blessings from unexpected places.  One pleasant surprise came last year when Jonathan sat between two kids who really pushed him to keep up.  When an exercise was given, they would encourage and cajole Jonathan, “C’mon Jonathan, you got to get this done.”  Jonathan hates to be left behind and this sort of push was very effective.

***

Do parents that are always bragging on their kids annoy you?  The endless monologues focused on how brilliant their kids are, smarter, better athletes, more after school activities… If you can’t take it, you’ll have to forgive me for a just a minute.

Last week, Jonathan came home with this:

Well….what can I say.  My heart is swelled up pretty big, and those of you who know me can imagine my eyes are little misty.

I think Jonathan is going to be just fine.

(According to Charlotte, E’s are Excellent and S’s are Satisfactory, and “Mr. Myers is a REALLY tough grader.”)

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7 Responses to Progress report

  1. Karen Strite says:

    Now that’s worth bragging about! Yay for Jonathan!!!! (And he really is perfect.)

  2. Jenny Hurford says:

    Love it! Those are fantastic grades and Jonathan should be proud. Funny, I was going to type the same exact thing Charlotte said. Mr. Myers IS tough…Ben has never gotten above an S from him!

  3. Jennifer Thanepohn says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!!!

  4. Valerie Divine says:

    Yeah Jonathon!!! That is awesome! Congrats!

  5. Way to go Jonathon!!!♥

  6. Joan Redeen says:

    Kudos to Jonathan!

    Might I be so bold as to offer a little advice…from one who has been through far too many IEP’s! The IEP is, overall, very negative – the school districts don’t seem to look at them in that manner, but as a parent sitting there being told everything your child can not do can be very discouraging, especially when we are the experts (not the school district professionals) and we are the ones who KNOW the whole truth! We moved a great deal when Jared was growing up. Many times when we moved the old district would provide the new district with a copy of the IEP, so their first introduction to Jared was his IEP. I didn’t want the new district (or teachers) to have a negative image of Jared, I wanted them to see all of his truly wonderful abilities, to know how he was outside of the classroom too. So I added my two cents to the IEP each year. I know that every IEP includes the parent’s list of their child’s strengths, but it is usually room for two sentences and that just isn’t enough to describe all of the wonderful developmental leaps and bounds that our children do make each year. I wrote at least two pages of positive things about Jared each year – between kindergarten and first grade he began to do … and between first and second grade he learned to do … in our home Jared does chores just like his brother, etc. I’d come to the IEP meeting with my two pages of positives and I’d insist that it become a part of the IEP and made a point of reading it aloud to everyone present. In doing this my pages became Pages 11 of 13 and 12 of 13, etc. They were included before the signature pages AND therefore the new school districts would receive the IEP and would have to read my contribution to it as well. Even after we settled here and Jared remained in the same school for more than a few years (2nd through 5th grade and then it was off to middle school and onto high school) I still continued to do it, as I wanted to end the meeting on a positive note.

    Try it sometime and see how it feels to put on paper everything that your child is truly capable of – sometimes we’re surprised by just how much they do that we don’t always give them credit for too! Be forewarned, sometimes the ‘professionals’ (as they’d like to think of themselves) aren’t always thrilled that I provided this detail and insisted it be included as part of the IEP BUT you will be pleased that you did it and it does help the IEP to end on a more positive note – that and brownies…I almost always brought brownies!

    But again and still HUGE Kudos to Jonathan!!!!

  7. Brooke says:

    Thanks Joan for the wonderful suggestion! Very helpful advice, not only for us, but hopefully others as well.

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