Tuesday, October 25, 2011

School with a Learning Disability

School has been in full sway for two months.  We are finally finding our rhythm about homework.  Our daughter who has the learning disability (dysphasia) has struggled tremendously.  We were not able to get her into the special school for her disability due to a lack of space and her young age.  Therefore we (the school and my husband and I) decided to graduate her up to first grade this year even though we knew it would be difficult for her.  We couldn't justify keeping her in maternelle/kindergarten because she is perfectly mature for her age.  We believed that would have been even more discouraging, seeing her twin brother move forward and so forth.

The first two weeks of school were filled with a lot of tears.  Every morning, every evening, "I don't want to go to school."  This was a total turn around from last year.  Even though most of the time she didn't understand what was going on in her class, she loved school and wanted to participate.  But first grade is more academic than kindergarten and she is more self-aware.  Imagine that you are in a class and you cannot understand the teacher, the other people around you and you cannot express yourself to even let them know this.  Now remember being a child and the inherent cruelty of teasing that every kid seems to possess no matter how nice they are.  Yeah, that's a scary, dark place to be in.

So I met with the school and we decided that finishing all of her homework is not necessary (thank god because it was taking us about an hour and a half a night - that is definitely not encouraging to anyone at the age of 6, and who has been struggling all day all ready).  That the most important goal right now is to keep her engaged and happy at school.  The lucky girl has a team of eight people working with her:  my husband and I, her teacher, a learning technician, a speech therapist, a school psychologist, the principal, and a student who has been paired with her to help her understand what is going on in class and to help her socialize more with the other kids.  Sometimes I marvel at the beauty of people, especially in the teaching profession.  As if their jobs weren't hard enough, they go out of their way to spend extra time helping children like my daughter.  I am wholeheartedly grateful.


De said...

I am truly impressed at the school's decision to work outside the box and take your daughter's well-being into account. I hope it makes for happier days for all of you!!

Lynnea said...

De, me too. We could use more happiness all around.

jaded said...

I'm glad your daughter has a "team" on her side treating her as an individual. Sometimes education becomes too one-size fits-all.