I don’t know if you recall – or even if I’ve told this story here – but during my first teacher conference in Wes’s First Grade year I was told that his initial round of testing flagged him for needing “early intervention.” This meant he was WELL BELOW the benchmark in BASICALLY EVERYTHING. As I was going over the tests I was thinking, this is most definitely not right… because, while Wes had behavioral struggles to the MAX, he was totes smart.
Immediately his teacher said, “Of course, I’m not worried because he reads to the other kids and is fine with math skills, but I need you to understand what I think is happening.” She then proceeded to point to the “test time” portion of the results where it took Wes 7 minutes to complete one test and 5 to complete the other. The average times were 10+ minutes longer. He basically went in, answered the questions as fast as he could, and was all, “SEE YA, FOOLS!”
We are now in 3rd grade and he’s ranking “exceeds skill” in all of his progress reports. He rarely gets red behavior points, was put in a special program for “gifted” kids, and he almost enjoys reading.
He still hasn’t found the books that REALLY hold his attention yet, but I have found if he’s too distracted to focus on reading, that he’s more likely to do it if I let him read TO me. He still hates homework and rarely brings home papers he’s supposed to show me, but he has one teacher this year that ADORES him and thinks he’s SO SMART and he wants nothing more than to make her proud and that has made LOADS of difference in his attitude towards the mundane.
When we were discussing his progress report last night he actually seemed shocked. We’ve never done anything but point out his capacity for good grades, but I still think he dreads so many things about school (“IT IS SOOO BORING!”) he finds it hard to believe when he does well.
We’re still working a lot on coping skills related to anger and frustration and shame and embarrassment. However, he also woke up with leg cramps last night and I ran him a bath in our master bathroom and then laid down in bed and when he got out of the bathtub he came over to me and gave me a kiss on the forehead and said, “Thank you Momma for taking such good care of me.”
His capacity for love is just as profound as his capacity for everything else.
I’m proud of him, that’s for sure. He’s doing so well and he’s come so far. I hope we keep the trend on the upswing for awhile.