Paul and I had Carly's conference at school last night. All in all, it went pretty well. We learned, on the academic end, Carly is progressing nicely. For her anyway. She is getting more vocal..which is GREAT! She is showing pre-reading skills and that's great too! She is getting numbers and working very hard to grasp the math concepts. We are all thrilled that she is more vocal. That she can write numbers and letters. That she can spell/write her name. That she knows all of her colors and shapes. That she is beginning to read. She can do word searches for crying out loud! Not bad when put to parents in those terms.
Socially, Carly is blossoming. She is quite popular. All the girls in her classroom want to be her friend. Everyone wants their turn to sit with Carly during story time. Stand in line next to Carly. Sit at the lunch table, next to Carly. Anything Carly does, a steady stream of girls want to be there with her. The girls and boys, take great pride in any accomplishment that they see Carly master. The teacher told us, "they are Carly's cheerleaders". That makes us smile!!
But,,,,,there seems to always be a, but! Funny how that works isn't it? The teacher and resource teacher, (who Carly sees every day for 30 minute sessions) had to do it. I understand that. It just doesn't make it any easier to hear. They had to tell us, Carly is very behind her peers in terms of learning. Yes...she is progressing, but it's at her rate. Not at the rate of the class. Okay, so honestly, Paul and I know that. But, like I said, it doesn't make it any easier to hear. It kind of feels like a kick in the gut. Not a big ole kick in the gut, but a kick in the gut, nonetheless! However,we are thrilled with what she is doing. So is her resource teacher.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not at all upset with how conferences went. Not too much. What I mean is, they didn't tell us anything that we didn't already know. It's just hard to hear. As parents, we want what every parent wants. Their kid to thrive. To learn along side their peers. To gain independence. We understand that it will take Carly longer to get there, than say...her peers. But we have confidence that she will get there. How far she will go with her ability to learn is any one's guess. Of course we hope she continues on with her learning for many years to come. And from what I've read online recently..it's very possible that our kiddo's with Down syndrome continue to learn way into adulthood. Many educators feel that our kids will get to a point, where they maxed out their learning ability. So to speak.
At the end of the conference, I told the teacher's that we feel that any progress Carly makes in school, is HUGE. Even if it's a small accomplishment in the eye's of the educators...it's HUGE for Carly. And we're going to take whatever we get, and be proud of her! To that, they agreed!
Just wish I knew, why does it bother me?
After conferences, we headed down to the Girl Scout cookie stand. I've thought about signing Carly up for the Girl Scout's, but honestly I thought she would be too shy. And, up until this year, I believe that would have been the case. I guess I'd better start to think about it for next year. Hopefully, she will be even more vocal and more social. Anyway, we purchased 5 boxes of cookies. Oh my gosh...are they good!
Then we hit up the Book Fair that was going on in the library. Have I ever mentioned how much Carly LOVES books? She walks into a library and her eyes get as big as saucers. She is on cloud nine! We ended up buying her 4 books, a pencil...that she just had to have, and an eraser too. She thinks writing and erasing is just the coolest thing ever!
As we were getting ready to head home, we popped into the gym teachers office. I was curious as to how Carly was doing in gym class. At the beginning of the year, she was very shy in gym. She would stand back and observe the kids, rather than join in. Not anymore. This gym teacher video tapes bits and pieces of each child doing "their thing" in gym. He then loads them onto his computer, making it possible to share a little bit of gym class with the parents. So cool! Sadly, he only started doing this 3 months ago. We watched 2 clips of Carly in gym. The first clip was taken 3 months ago. The clip showed just how leery Carly was. She would take part, but was very hesitant. The second clip was taken last week. Holy Cow, what a difference in Miss Carly. She was involved. Focused. Having fun. Doing the activity for that day, which was under hand throwing. The gym teacher was very pleased with her progress. Although, he did admit...Carly does great as long as he keeps his distance! Apparently, Carly prefers the gym aide, over the gym teacher! After spring break, they will start doing over hand throwing. The gym teacher is excited for that session to start up because he has already seen Carly throw over hand. He thinks she has quite the arm on her!
In a nut shell. Conferences went okay. It's just so hard to hear what your child cant do. I hate that she has to be compared to her peers, but that's how the public school system works. That's how mainstreaming our kids works. And some how, I need to grow a little thicker skin. That way, maybe I can stop wondering, why it bothers me so.
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