This summer has been somewhat of a tricky time. A time that demanded deep thinking, creativity and creation of something new. (You know I love a challenge!)
When I started working with Dan at home, talking about history, art and more, I realized how much he knows, how he enjoys learning, and how relieved and happy he is that we understand how smart he is and how much he knows. It was the first time I was addressing him as a smart student (It’s my bad, I know, I used to believe the world around me, that told to me that Dan’s abilities are limited) and discuss age appropriate content exactly at his level. I presumed competence.
But then while we were happily doing it at home, Dan’s program at school stayed the same. He was learning at a different level. Not because his teachers did not believe in him. We are lucky to have a great group of teachers and professionals surrounding Dan. It was because the system just worked that way. If you didn’t master A, you are not able to move to B. And for our kids it is sometimes hard to show their ability, even when they understand everything perfectly. There was a disconnect.
So I had to come in and talk. Advocate for my child. This was not easy, not because the team is not great and open, but because in a way, I was introducing something completely different, ‘speaking a new language.’ Yet this team listened. And as always they stepped to the plate and even surprised me with their creativity, willingness and ability to do this. Now Dan is learning age appropriate lessons at school about current events, science, social science, geography, history, and more.
We are also so lucky to have a group of dedicated therapists, all with teaching degrees, who believe in Dan and teach him, all the time. Last week one of his therapist said to me, “I think I’d like to read Robert Frost with Dan.” Not that long ago, discussions with the therapists were about how to keep Dan safe and how to fill his time with activities so he doesn’t get bored around the house. And now this. I teared up. We have a different kid and an amazing team around him.
Last week at Dan’s session with the RPM therapist, she taught him about a natural phenomenon and asked him what he would like to preserve on earth, if he could. Dan replied, “Not sure planet earth is what I am most passionate about.” While I’m laughing in the corner at how open and daring he is, she asked him, “what are you passionate about then?” And my boy responded, “EDUCATION.”