T asked the lifeguard if he could try the deep end test. It was his first-ever attempt. Would he make it?
I thought about this recent outing at the community pool, as it’s goal-setting time for the school year.
This year, I love how T’s teacher included the kids in the process, using the Power of Yet model.
Growth mindset is an important message for kids to learn and I appreciate how schools have shifted towards this approach in recent years.
When viewed through the eyes of an individual with FASD, and their caregivers, it is a powerful reminder that just because you can’t do something yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not achievable one day.
T gets easily frustrated when he stumbles – and in turn, it is frustrating for us as his parents – so a shift in mindset can be beneficial.
I’m aware that not everything is achievable with a positive mindset, but everything is worth a try.
T’s CYW shared proudly in her daily log that T set his own YET goals for the year.
- Making friends
- Keep hands to self
- Sharing activities
- Taking turns
- Learn times table
- Writing neatly
- Spelling hard words
- How to log in on the laptop
- Zoom with grandparents
After reading them, I too felt proud.
The hubby and I are also setting goals for T, through the annual Individualized Education Plan process.
The IEP is a tool the school creates to provide accommodations and supports in the learning experience to maximize T’s success.
Parents can provide input towards the IEP by completing a questionnaire and a consultation meeting with the teacher, who drafts the IEP.
It is a legal document that schools are accountable to follow.
This is our 4th IEP and it’s interesting to review the previous year’s document to see what still applies; many of them do, including highlighting his challenges around hyperactivity, focusing on and completing tasks independently and regulation.
We also make sure to highlight his many strengths, including: his bright, funny and caring nature; his aptitude for sports; and his desire to do well. We emphasized that while T may have challenging moments, experiencing his successes together can be immensely rewarding.
School is often stressful for kids with FASD and we see this in T. The days are long, there are many demands on him – and at the end of the day, he’s often had enough and is often moody and more prone to meltdowns.
We get it. It’s a work in progress. Annoying and hard as hell to experience, but we get it.
We try to provide opportunities to destress through things he enjoys – park time, biking, swimming and swim lessons on weekends.
I continue the weekend learning with him but keep it fairly light. We read one picture book together and practice math drills.
We need to work on his reading stamina and interest but his growth is undeniable. And it’s wonderful to see him start to learn the times table through practicing with flash cards I made using dollar store index cards.
The Power of Yet is a good reminder that every day or every moment doesn’t have to be a home run or gold medal worthy.
The try is often the most important part of the learning journey – and to break it into smaller steps.
And during this recent weekend’s deep end test, T tried valiantly. His strokes and breathing technique were sloppy, he paused longer than he should’ve at the end of the first of two laps, and he didn’t finish his second lap – but he was close.
So he didn’t pass.
But I saw how determined he was and praised him for a solid first try at a difficult test.
I told him with utmost sincerity and belief that with constant practice, he will be in the deep end by next summer.