What Learning Disability?
Last night was Back to School Night at middle school. Meanwhile, the IEP meeting is next Tuesday, so I received written teacher comments from all 7 teachers. You’d think my kid had no problems at all.
Dylan’s teachers talked about him in such glowing terms, I started to think they had the wrong kid. They said things like:
“Dylan has started the year fantastically.”
“He seems motivated and responsible.”
“Dylan is a delightful student in my class. He is polite and has good interactions with students and staff.”
“No concerns at all about Dylan thus far.”
“Dylan is off to a GREAT start.”
Then, when I met his teachers, I found them to be knowledgeable and interesting. They seemed to know what they’re doing, and they had a great grasp on their material and how their class was responding. I was very, very impressed (which is not always the case) with ALL of Dylan’s teachers.
So how could they be talking about Dylan?
WHAT I SEE:
“Dylan forgot to turn in his homework again.”
“Dylan hasn’t done a single minute of school work at home all year.”
“He missed 2 out of 4 questions on his test. I mean, he DIDN’T SEE THEM.”
“Dylan needs a computer for his writing, but never uses one.”
“He’s disorganized, disheveled and often forgets to brush his hair or wear deodorant, or both, on any given day.”
Sigh. I know I’m right – but maybe they are, too…
So I became wildly encouraging, praising my son for everything he’s doing right. We read the teacher comments together. I made a big fuss and high-fived him. Because gosh, he’s doing GREAT.
Then I sit back and worry about letting my guard down. What if I’m not vigilant, if I think he’s doing great and I let him fall on his face?
I remember years ago, when I went to my first (and only) CHADD meeting. Dylan was in first grade and I was in a panic. “What if I let him do everything by himself and he FAILS?” I gasped.
And more or less they said, “So what? Let him fail. That’s how he’ll learn.”
So it’s been six years since that meeting and I’ve been trying to let natural consequences take their course. It is VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY HARD. I want to jump in and fix everything, and I DO jump in and fix too much.
Hm. Maybe I fix too much. Maybe I should let him SUCCEED, as well.