A light at the end of the tunnel

May 13, 2009 at 10:05 am 4 comments

     In the midst of preparing for C’s upcoming IEP meeting, I’ve quite suddenly realized that the end may be in sight. Since his first IEPs, which were all about his challenges, to his later ones, which seem to be mostly about his strengths, I’ve hoped for C’s graduation from special education. When we first started down this IEP/IFSP road at 9 months, we anticipated C would enter kindergarten without his IEP tagging along. That was back in the day when we hadn’t really quite figured out he had a real diagnosis other than prematurity. Yet kindergarten came and went, with many struggles along the way to indicate the necessity of future special education interventions. 

     Now I’m having conversations with his team about ways we can keep his IEP for the next couple of years while we wait to see what happens in C’s progression. We’re talking as if it’s a given that he will be IEP-less by 5th or 6th grade. It’s the first time we’ve had a potentially realistic end to his involvement with special education. Frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about that. On one hand, it’s an indicator for how well C is doing. The child is astounding. It’s a time for kudos for all of us on C’s team, past and present, who have helped him become the amazing little dude he is.

     At the same time, I know hyperlexia generally includes some academic downfall at some point during the school years, and while we’re seeing bits and pieces of that in terms of reading comprehension, I’m not sure how big or how bad it will get. My sense is that he will struggle as schoolwork becomes more complicated and they move on to more subjective work. As evidenced by the writing section on his most recent standardized testing, where they were asked to write about why the early people didn’t know much about what was in the sky (which was the subject of the previous questions on the test), C summed it all up in just two, brief sentences at the very top of the entire blank page. “The early people didn’t know much. They didn’t have books then.”

     As is usual in C fashion, he hit the nail on the head. it’s hard to argue with his logic. Unfortunately, it was the right nail, wrong head – for standardized testing, at least. We’ve been down this road before with C’s grouping of an apple and a banana together not because they are fruit, but rather because “red and yellow make orange.” Now who can argue with that?

     So as we come to this “Y” in the road, I’m cautiously encouraged. And I’m hoping that someone out there in C’s future academic experience will look at him as a delicious challenge of interesting proportions – someone who can appreciate and capitalize on the inherent truth that red and yellow do in fact make orange.

Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

In honor of Mother’s Day C-isms, XV

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. FXSmom  |  May 13, 2009 at 10:38 am

    funny how some logic just won’t work for the real world…very very sad. I used to match colors together because they were male and female. Drove my teachers crazy because they wanted the blues together. But no. I put a blue with a yellow or a pink.

    That is AWESOME! I love that! What a great way to think about colors. I never would’ve thought of that. It is too bad that our system is set up not to celebrate diversity of mind, isn’t it?

  • 2. robinaltman  |  May 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    It’s totally awesome that C is doing so well. He’s such a great kid. I’d hang onto that IEP as long as possible. In my experience, it can be a pain to get it back – the squeaky wheels hogging the grease, and all that. And you’ve hit the nail on the head, as usual. Now it’s the later grades, where more abstract thinking is involved, which will be a challenge.

    Do you know how many patients’ parents I’ve referred to your blog? A lot. You are wonderful. Just wanted to let you know.

    Congrats to C!

    Yes, I am concerned about the later grades for sure – I’m hoping we can hang on to his IEP for a few more years as I think it will be much more clear around 5th grade how he’s going to do. Abstract thinking?? EEEEKKK!

    And thanks for sending folks my way. I’ll never forget that first post of yours I saw, and the rest is history! I’m so glad to have found you, friend! 🙂

  • 3. DES  |  May 14, 2009 at 4:47 am

    hi, recently found your blog and am enjoying reading the similarities in our guys (even though my is 16 going on 17 now). I had to smile at the ‘writing’ statement…mine had to answer the prompt, “what can you do to help with all the litter in your neighborhood”. Course my son only the knew the word ‘litter’ from cat litter and replied…’my cat uses the litter box and we just through it away!” 🙂
    I’d keep the IEP if possible…the high order thinking in reading has caused many many problems for us in reading comprehension in science, history etc. Written expression has also been affected. they are such….short, simple..to the point answers…*sighs*
    thanks for sharing…and good luck!

  • 4. hopeauthority  |  May 18, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Keep the IEP. Reclassification down the road…especially in tough economic times when districts are cutting services…is really hard to get (at least here it is). And trust your instincts. They’re good.


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