When all kids are included, accommodated and set up for success, everyone wins.
Maintaining a positive relationship with T’s school is a priority for the hubby and I.
We try to be open, transparent and collaborative with his teachers and principal.
We shared his recent FASD diagnosis and we’re thankful his school has been so supportive.
We’re blessed T has a super organized teacher and a dedicated Child and Youth Worker.
Having an Independent Education Plan (IEP) is helpful. It doesn’t mean that less is expected of him, but that he is set up for success.
Grade 1 has had ups and downs, including: a period of disruptive behaviour, his CYW’s unexpected departure, and adjusting to changes to his medication.
But as life with T continues to show us, when we persevere, we get through the rough patches.
As we entered the second half of the school year, I feel hopeful we’ve settled into a positive rhythm.
His new CYW is great. She is experienced and has kept routines that T’s previous CYW used.
T’s teacher’s extra homework is making a positive difference. It’s part of our evening and weekend routine and we see a confidence for academics developing in T.
The school was also able to fast track an OT assessment for T to help identify the cause of his disruptive behaviors – such as “digging” and “thrashing” movements and “buzzer sounds” – and to identify strategies to reduce or replace these behaviors.
It’s normally a two-year waitlist but he had his first in-class assessment this week, two months after the request was submitted.
I feel grateful for the school’s effort, because it demonstrates they understand T’s behaviours aren’t “bad” or intentional, but rather because of a disability – including impulse control issues.
Gym class has also been a struggle for T. He is not keen to participate and for his recent report card, his teacher wasn’t able to give him a grade for “Dance,” because she didn’t have any evidence.
During the week before Spring Break that T had to stay home because of a cold, his gym teacher asked if we could complete a dance assignment with T: work with T to create a dance to The Gummy Bear song with different movements that show opposites – e.g. up and down.
I joked with the hubby that it was a fake assignment and the teacher was fucking with us.
It was the last homeschool assignment we had to do with T before Spring Break and we filmed it 8 hours before we woke up to leave for the airport.
While it was not Britney Spears level choreography, T did a super cute job.
After we submitted the video separately to T’s teacher and his gym teacher, his teacher e-mailed to let us know she will suggest to T’s gym teacher that similar future assignments can be completed at home, where T is more comfortable.
My initial reaction was, “Oh God! Please don’t punish us like this!”
But I then realized how amazing it was to have a teacher willing to work within T’s comfort level to maximize his success.
The hubby and I gladly agreed and thanked her for her inclusive and accommodating approach.
On the Sunday before return to school, the hubby worked with T to make two birthday cards for classmates.
His teacher provides a monthly calendar that includes student birthdays as a way to encourage classmates to think about others.
I remember how happy T felt last month when his classmates created cards for him so we reminded T about the importance of paying things forward.
The rainbow cards he created, pictured at the top, were lovely!
This past week, I celebrated my birthday and got my own homemade cards from T. I put them on my home office desk.
I don’t wish for much during birthdays nor need anything other than my loved ones’ happiness.
Although this homemade carrot cake by the hubby was delicious!
T had an amazing return to school after Spring Break. 5 out of 5 great days of following routines, participating in class and completing his work.
That was the best birthday gift I could ask for and I hope his positive momentum continues.