Mike started his third week in 1st grade today and already the school year has been a rollercoaster of emotions.
Before kindergarten ended, Mike was assigned to a 1st grade teacher with a PhD in autism. I e-mailed her a few days before the school year ended and she gave me advice for getting Mike ready for 1st grade and she had a summer workbook delivered to Mike in school.
I was walking on clouds that Mike would have a teacher who understood students with special needs. Then, I began falling through the clouds when I learned Mike’s teacher was promoted to principal of another district elementary school.
I was so upset to learn that Mike wasn’t assigned to the other 1st grade teacher known for working well with students with special needs. So at the school open house, I asked the principal why Mike was assigned to Mr. Andrews.
The principal told me Mr. Andrews promoted students who had focus issues like Mike successfully to the next grade. Mike knows his 1st grade teacher from joint kindergarten activities and Mr. Andrews seemed enthusiastic at the open house.
He gave parents a form to fill out and I put down Mike’s focus issue on the list of concerns so he knew on day one that this issue needs to be addressed. About every day after school, I asked Mike whether he was working on his own and he said he did his own work.
Recently, he was getting defensive why I was asking about whether he was independent in class. I was thinking he was getting more independent until I saw the school district’s summer evaluation of him for a learning disability, which he doesn’t have.
The details written by his kindergarten teacher made me wonder whether he really became more independent this school year. I e-mailed Mr. Andrews to tell him about his neuropsychological evaluation from an outpatient therapy group on Sept. 16.
I asked Mr. Andrews about Mike’s ability to stay on task and work independently. It was such a disappointment to hear a few hours later that Mike is still in the same situation of lack of focus and neediness as last year.
Mike got his first frowney face in elementary school today for being off task, not paying attention and needing redirecting. So I will be dreading the report Mr. Andrews will write for Mike’s evaluation on Sept. 15.
The next day, hopefully, will be a day of answers and solutions for a kid who loves school but just can’t focus.