“My Story…” Monday: A – Dr. C’s Plan

(You can catch up on A’s story right here: The Pregnancy, The Birth, The Infancy, The Quiet Toddler, Advocating, What He COULD Do, Just A Boy, The (Hard) Next Step, Making a Friend, The Autism Diagnosis, He Talks, Hyperlexia, Your Baby Can Read, Another Evaluation, A New Kind of Special Need, Linear Algebra, The Triennial, The IQ Results, Bye, Bye Autism Diagnosis)  
 

“I’m very, very excited to hear confirmation of what I already believed about A,” Dr. C. began.   “His abstract thinking skills are simply remarkable!  I was just enthralled with all he had to say about the Spiral Galaxy when we were looking at the poster…”

 

And here is where I tell you that Dr. C. is a very interesting woman to talk to.  I truly believe she is absolutely in the right field and working with the right population of children.  She, at times, will make remarks that seem flighty or irrelevant (e.g. “The sky makes me want to paint this weekend!”), but you would be a fool to think she was actually distracted or had lost sight of the goal.  She is keen-eyed and aware, if a bit ethereal at times.  She, herself, thinks in abstract ways oftentimes and this means that she and A. can carry on like two peas in a pod.  They explore and discuss all manner of things and there’s a lot of mutual fascination going on.

 

“We want to continue working with his teachers and the school librarian to ensure that he’s given the opportunity to read things at his level.  He shouldn’t be limited to picture books and simple early readers…”

And on and on the discussion went.  A. was given the opportunity to be a “guest reader” in his younger sister’s preschool class.  It was an absolutely terrific experience for him.  Not only did it allow him to read independently, but it helped him work on eye-contact, communication, and presentation skills.  He did an amazing job and the preschool teacher (who had also been HIS teacher!) had tears in her eyes as she described the way he asked the “little” ones questions and encouraged them.

 

This is the type of thing for which I really have to commend our school.  That sort of “outside the box” thinking has been so important for helping our son simultaneously work at a higher level and still “fit in.”  It feels like a fun privilege for him, but it encourages skill building in areas that he needs, e.g. eye contact.  This, for a kindergartener, was a great type of “gifted education”, in my opinion.

 

But there was still the matter of math.  I’ve said it before– my five-year-old understood square roots and basic algebra.  He was doing some multiplication.  Coloring patterns of teddy bears?  Wasn’t going to challenge him at all.  Now, that said, he still enjoyed it!  He never once complained about being bored with the kindergarten math sheets.  He dutifully completed them all without fuss.  But, obviously, we all knew that there was going to come a day when this wasn’t cutting it…

 

Dr. C. started talking to us about future plans.  About how seriously the district took it when they encountered a student so gifted in math.  She told us about a computer-based learning program based out of Johns Hopkins.

 

My heart raced a little bit.  Sure, this was all “future talk,” but I was already feeling anxious about the idea of my, let’s face it, socially awkward little boy doing his learning with a screen instead of a person.

 

For the time being, we all agreed to just carry on with his regular class.  We (his daddy and I) would continue to provide supplemental math problems and challenges at home.  It had been working for a couple years already, so it was fine with us.

 

And that’s what we all did…

 

Until the day when Dr. C. (and A., who was walking with her at the time) were asked to keep an eye on a second grade class so the teacher could run to the restroom.

 

My son walked into that room and introduced himself,

 

“Hi, I’m A.  And I LOVE math!”

 

And so Dr. C. called me that afternoon…

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