Friday, April 10, 2009

Ahead

Sorry, but there's more. This was drafted before the breaking news of the swing.

I'm her mother, so of course I think this way. Addie's trajectory leaves a cloud of dust behind her sometimes. It may not often be a generally recognized triumph, but in this mother's esteem, she's pretty extraordinary (which is guess is fairly obvious). As is Cate.

There's a pleasant little bonus going on with regard to letter recognition, as regular readers are aware. I went back and looked up the junior kindergarten curriculum in my district to see where she is with this skill in a general education context. This a partial quote from one element of Language Arts listing what K4 learners need to know by the end of the year:

"How to name most upper case letters"

This week's note from Addie's special education teacher:

Good morning!

Okay here is the latest about the rock star:

The upper case letters she can now identify are: C,O,L,Y,B,V,G,E,F,N,A,P,S,Q,W,M,U,X,H,Z. Woo Hoo!

The six left to work on: T,J,D,R,K,I.

What I have been doing last week and this week is letting her sit on the swing. I stop her and then say. "What letter? Show me". She signs it then after we do a couple she swings. She has been so proud of her accomplishments! She just looks at me and smiles away with her excited body movements.


Addie is crossing off one bullet point on the general ed curriculum BEFORE many of her peers. I know, it should not be important that there are typical peers behind her in this. And it isn't the biggest boon - the greatest part is that she's stepped on to the road to becoming a reader. But it does mean something to me that right now, she ranks in the top half in her class on this one early academic standard. Though that is taken for granted in many cases, I'm not sure how often we'll be able to say that for Addie. Just even this once is big stuff for us.

She has safeguarded herself a bit against low expectations. She is capable of general ed concepts that may at times need to be taught and assessed in less traditional ways. I am ecstatic that she is establishing this in such a grand way after only being a school kid for a few months.

She's not a girl who proves herself incrementally. She, like Cate, prefers not to let the effort show much until the desired result is almost fully baked. This means lots of exposure to things with little evidence of interest from her...until one day - WHAM! - she knows (and cares to prove she knows) most of the alaphabet.

Others are laying things in her path without first demanding empirical "proof" that she can/will take them up (as is so often the case in special ed, unfortunately). The leaps of faith we take at home are catching on. I see her spec ed teacher hopping along, her classroom teacher popping up. Her little K4 friends were bobbing since the day they met her. I envision Addie's school building from the outside, the windows to her classroom looking like the clear plastic crown of a hot air popper in full operation, little popcorn heads up and down, unfailingly giving each other, including Addie, the benefit of the doubt.

And here's Addie demonstrating the appropriateness of the gift by getting through the alphabet in 2 weeks' time. With 2.5 months of school left for the year.

Not delayed. Not slow.

Ahead.

5 comments:

Cindy said...

Go Addie! You show 'em how it's done!

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

Way to be ahead girl!

Sawyer said...

That is awesome to hear! Way to go Addie.

angie said...

You go girl!! I am so very proud of you. You inspire me so much with everything you are doing:). Keep on being AWESOME ADDIE:).

Jacqui said...

This is really remarkable and turns the whole "developmental delay" label that hangs over our kids heads upside down. I like that, I like that a lot. Keep pushing the boundaries of our expectations Addie, you are teaching me to break down all the limitations in my mind related to what my son can or cannot do. thank you.