Friday, September 25, 2009

School revisited

Noah is finishing up his third week of school and things are actually going fairly well. So well, in fact, that I've had time to worry about next year.
Next year Noah will be in Kindergarten. Had he been full term we probably would've held him back a year since mid September is right on the border but he was born 16 weeks early.
As a reward for 7+ months of hospitalizations, a lack of vision, a lack of hearing, major fine and gross motor delays, virtually no feeding skills, and some pretty significant sensory issues we've decided to accellerate his schooling. It doesn't seem quite right to me, but neither does another year of preschool when he's ready academically for Kindergarten now.
Kindergarten is a whole different ball game than preschool. I've been looking at the Kindergarden SOLs for our state and I'm terrified. Absolutely scared out of my mind.
Because I think he can't learn the material? No, I know he can learn it. I'm terrified because I have to trust someone to effectively accomodate Noah's special needs so that he can access the information.
I visited Noah's mainstream class on Tuesday, and I was pleased with what I saw. He was doing the activity well and it actually wasn't as loud as I expected. They made sure Noah sat in the front for circle time, and they had his special scissors right there ready when they were doing a cutting activity. The table that he sat was at the edge of the classroom in a not overly visually stimulating part of the room, but not in such a way that he was isolated. While he didn't attempt to make small talk, the other kids did talk to him and try to include him in their group.
But then the teacher held up the paper so "everyone could see" as she gave the directions. Everyone except for the kid with no peripheral vision that is. According to his IEP he's supposed to get to manipulate all materials, which means he should've either had another copy of the paper to follow along with (ideally) or she should've held it down to reiterate her directions before or after she held it up. I have no doubt that it didn't even occur to her that it was a problem, and I have no doubt that the vision teacher will talk to her and she will always hand Noah his paper before she reads the directions from now on. But I can't always be there for every activity, and I can't think of every possible issue that could come up.
He missed the directions for an activity on Tuesday, but he already knew the information. There is so much in Kindergarten that he doesn't yet know, so missing out on even a small part of the instructional time is huge. He can learn if he can hear it and see it and stay on task and not get overwhelmed or distracted and if he has the background information to understand the concept, but those aren't exactly easy things to overcome. Scary. Terrifying. How many more years of this are there?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So neat to watch Noah's video. What a smart little boy you have. He is such a cutie and he is really inspiring to me.