Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Well, we're a few weeks into the school year which has somehow turned my routine upside-down, hence the lack of posts. Blogging is getting more and more difficult to fit into the routine, but I thought I'd squeeze in just a quick update. I just want to say that I'm totally amazed by people who have more than one kid. This one keeps us fully scheduled at all times!

I guess the biggest issue we've been facing lately is spending time to do some school work with Emma. Unfortunately, after a whole day of school, we have to spend so much time doing the job that the school isn't doing. I'm at my wits end in this area. We finally started making some good progress with her over the summer, but now that school is back in, we've seen a lot of regression in what she's learned. Somehow, I convinced myself that this year would be different. Now that Emma has a better grasp on the language, I thought people wouldn't be so afraid of her and would be more willing to help out. Again, I'm wrong. We're still waiting for psychological testing that the school promised us last year, which now seems to be "on hold." And we've been reassured time and time again that even after the testing, she will not get extra help because she has come such a long way in the past year. I'm not sure what planet these people live on, but I wouldn't exactly call a seven year old learning her colours and shapes huge progress. I'm thinking that the ability to read and count might come in handy down the road for Emma, but apparently the school thinks she will get by on her own. As the six year old kids sit down and read their words and do their addition and subtraction, my almost eight year old has absolutely no concept what letters and numbers are for. Sure, she might be able to identify some letters and numbers for you. But she has no idea that when you put these letters together, they make words. And numbers...don't even get me started. There is absolutely no concept of what value numbers have and what they are for. If this doesn't constitute a "special needs" kid, I don't know what does! I hate to be jumping to conclusions, and possibly needlessly "labelling" my kid. That certainly is not my intention. It's so hard to know what's normal and what's not given what she's been through in the past. I just don't understand how anyone could possibly think that Emma can thrive in a regular classroom. On top of it all, after all the work we've done with her over the summer to help her do basic counting and writing correctly, we see blatant mistakes and seriously sloppy work getting check marks and happy faces from her teacher. ARGH!!!!

I sincerely apologize for the rant. I think I probably picked a bad day to post. It's just been one of those weeks. With Emma, everything is so "two steps forward, and one step back." I think this week we're having a "one step back" week. :( If there is ANYONE out there with ANY ideas as to how we can get some extra help, I would greatly appreciate your input.

On a positive note, we are very happy with our decision this year to ditch the dance classes and enroll Emma in gymnastics. Gymnastics is just as difficult to grasp for Emma as the choreography in dance. But the big difference with gymnastics is that Emma isn't being left by the wayside. In fact, out of all the different people we've dealt with in the last year, Emma's coach is the FIRST person we've seen take some time to help her. She is very patient in showing Emma how to do things, and rather than just overlook mistakes, she will make Emma do things again until she gets it right. And it's not just Emma, she does it with all the kids. This is truly something incredible to witness, which is sad to say. There's not many people out there who care to go the extra mile.

Well, enough whining for today. Here's hoping next week won't be as frustrating...:)

PS..I am so completely amazed how many of you are still following this little ol' blog. It makes me feel guilty when I see how many people keep checking back when I'm not updating on a regular basis. And also people on the other side of the they ever came across this blog is beyond me! Please feel free to post comments if you'd like. I'd be interested to know how you got here and what keeps you coming back. It makes my posting feel worthwhile.:)

1 comment:

  1. The best place to start is finding out what your special education laws really are. You can easily find them on the internet. Here in the USA, there are federal laws that govern special ed. The schools all know what they are, but they are banking on the fact that you don't. I'm assuming that is probably also the case in Canada. So, #1 - load your guns with knowledge. Find the laws and find which category Emma best fits in and go from there. #2- Because of the laws that are in place here in the USA, if a parent formally requests that testing be done, the school HAS to do it within 45 days. And, they MUST do whatever testing is specified or requested. If this proves to be the case in Canada as well, then contact your school special education coordinator and ask what you need to do to get the ball rolling. The schools have a specific form that you have to sign here, so check and see if that is the case there as well. As for what testing to do, do ALL of it. Have her tested in every single area - hearing, speech, language, phych, IQ, adaptive functioning, fine and gross motor skills if there are still some coordination or delays, occupational therapy areas, sensory integration, and the list goes on. Again, here in the USA, if YOU as the parent request it formally, they HAVE to do it.

    And, if you haven't already done so, check out the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure. :-( My older son also struggles in school about like your Emma does. I am pretty certain now that FASD has reared its ugly head on top of everything else. If you suspect this may be the case with your daughter (and it may well explain some of her other issues as well), get it medically dianosed and then take that diagnosis to the school. FASD is definately enough to qualify kids for special ed and get them the resource help they need.

    Good luck with it. Fighting with the schools is SOOO not fun. But if you don't do it, no one else will and your sweet little girl will only continue to slip through the cracks even more.