Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NJ Pass scores plus Autism the Musical make for a crying mommy

Warning! Major Vent!

So Dino Boy just finished first grade. He had to take a test. The NJ Pass...I hate tests. Well, I don't hate tests, I liked school. I loved college and learning and tests- well, cause I was pretty good at telling the teacher what they wanted to hear- I got A's and even became a teacher.

But now, I hate tests. I remember, vaguely, the week that Dino Boy had to take this test. He was nervous, scared even. But then they decided not to give him the test with the class. He got to take it on random days with the school counselor. He was still nervous of course but he didn't know when he was gonna take the test so he couldn't panic ahead of time. I thought this would help him.

I didn't focus on the test. Just try, hell, just try to sit. That is all I care about. Please Dino Boy be happy, don't panic, mommy doesn't care what the test says, I know you are brilliant and no one in the world knows more about dinosaurs than you, just, please, BREATHE.

And that is what I am telling myself now. Breathe. I am used to high test scores. I got them. My ADHD brother who flunked out of every class still ACED every standardized test that was put in front of him and to be frank he (Uncle Frog) is the smartest person I know. So Dino Boys scores? He did better in math than language arts. I knew that. He hates to read. He can't scan, his sight words are just gone, I try to review and get him to read but making him sit at the table is more than half the battle. ( We are working on this and hope exists) But still on the NJ pass overall scale of 1,2,3, he got a 1 Basic. Minimal skills... some areas better than others but none were really, well, passing.

Language arts. worse. Basic again, but this times in ways that I really don't get. I mean, he can recite a story to me tell me details days later. But he couldn't recite for a test? Was is that boring? Could he not fill in the bubble? He loves to be read to, he may not sit for it but it all gets in there....what happened?

I don't know whether to cry or throw the f*c>ing test out the f*c>ing window or say that Its ok, this was pre IEP, pre summer occupational therapy, pre my Asperger's book binge, pre internet support group. Next year he will have the same teacher(not yet sure if that is good or not) , an aide, speech, in school OT, maybe out of school OT too.

Should I care? Does school just suck?

For all of you joining in progress...down here.

Now, the crying part. I have had Autism the musical on my Tivo for a LONG LONG time. I have wanted to watch it, meant to watch it, started to watch it. But lets face up to the truth. I was scared to watch it. I don't know what I was scared of exactly. But I started watching it a few days ago. I watched in mini sections, took my time. Laughed, cried and digested. My son is really a cross between two kids there. Wyatt and Henry. It was stunning to see it. Henry and his mom basically performing a replay of the activities that I do everyday- deja freaky. Dinos and eras and time travel and the ways that a prehistoric tiger is related to the modern day cat, its me...only blonder, skinnier and probably smarter.

So the moms in the movie started to talk about the kids' futures. And these kids are from all over the spectrum. I can understand that some parents are really scared about what will happen to the kids after they aren't kids anymore. I am scared of this too but I guess in the back of my head I keep thinking that Dino boy will be ok, I can teach him to be ok, he is always making progress, progress is good. But then the scores came. What if he isn't ok? What if he doesn't figure out a way to be happy and live and exist on his own. What if he isn't the next Daniel Tammet and he can't figure it all out.

I know this is more about me than him. My fears, my needs, my wanting him to be happy. But what is happy anyway? My definition for sure isn't his.

Do we all have these fears or do we block them out and push them down because we need to get to OT and get dinner on the table. He is 7...who the heck cares if he gets patterns and algebra. Who needs this pushed down curriculum that teaches them things that I didn't know until I was 12.

I swear I have funny posts. I have a hole notebook that I am slowly filling with funny phrases, antics and bits and pieces. I mean really, I found a can of lima beans in my purse today...and Dino boy strapped a clock to his chest and became the all powerful TIME BOY super hero. But when its late and I want to vent, I think scary things and that is just what my fingers happened to have typed tonight.

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