Thursday, October 04, 2012

Help, I've fallen... off the face of the earth

I'm pretty sure this happens every year around this time: I seem to completely fall off the face of the earth.

School is back in session and 4th grade is kicking our butts.  I can't believe the amount of work that is required of 9- to 10-year-olds these days.  I remember 4th grade and I most definitely was NOT expected to spend time outside of school doing anything like homework.  The reason I remember this is because I desperately wanted homework!  I had a brother four years older than me who got homework every day and I wanted some, too!  (yes, I was that kind of a nerd-kid...)

But anyway, as I was saying, we've had some trouble getting transitioned into 4th grade with Fellan.  The first week of school was awesome.  The second week of school was abysmal.  The third week of school was only slightly better, but we seem to have been getting a little better every day since.  At this rate, though, it will be Christmas break before we get back to the high of the first week.

I can't remember if I mentioned that we had some educational testing done for Fellan again this past summer.  It was the same testing that we had done last year - we wanted to see if getting his eye problems corrected did anything for him and his dysgraphia.

We finally got the test results back a couple of weeks ago.  She confirmed again that he has dysgraphia, and had some good news and some bad news for us.  The good news is that his overall IQ score has gone up quite a bit over the year and that's mostly due to the fact that his eyes are working together now and he's able to process some things better.

The bad news is that he's still having the same troubles with writing.  And since he has gotten older but his writing ability hasn't matured, it's actually considered to be worse this year.  This is particularly bad news because the standardized tests for 4th grade include two hand-written essays as part of promotion requirements for him to go to 5th grade.  (Damn you, George W. and your standardized testing!)

We've met with his teacher and given her his test results and the recommendations from the woman who did the testing.  Luckily, his teacher this year has had kids with dysgraphia before, so she's familiar with it.  And she has no problem with modifying his work so that he can physically write less.

She also told us that she knows there are ways to allow a student to type the essays for the standardized tests and then have a teacher/counselor transcribe them onto the official paper.  But we need to get him classified as ADHD to have that type of accommodation.  The school district apparently doesn't recognize Dysgraphia as an official diagnosis.  The hoops we have to jump through...

In other news, I have pictures from our trip to Colorado (which includes pictures from the US Pro Challenge bike race!) and pictures of a science project that has already been done for this year's Science Fair.  So there's more to come, hopefully soon!

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