Friday, August 26, 2011

Will you be my friend?

Ana came home yesterday with big news - she had made two new friends. She told me all about them and was beyond excited about it.

She's in second grade but is relatively new to school as her only other attempt at school was first semester last year. I think she's the only newbie in her class so a lot of the kids already have friends or are still in that 'play with everyone indiscriminately' stage. She's an old soul and will be one of those people that chooses a few, very dear friends and will be loyal and true to them. She's not the social butterfly type and making friends is a huge deal in her world.

One of her new friends is in her class and I asked how they became friends. Here's her story.
Everybody has to line up when it's time to get ready for the bus and we can talk and stuff when we are standing there. (Girl) was behind me in line and me and her were talking and I said, "Will you be my friend?" and she said, "Yes" so I told her I needed her phone number. She wrote it down and here it is!  And so now we're friends." 
 It's official, people. Ana asked, girl accepted and a friendship is born :)  They sit two desks apart and are in the same pod. I hope that this is the start of a great year for Ana!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I heart books

I am a mad library user. I'm there at least two days a week. I read actual books, listen to books on CD and my iPod and read on my PC and iPod with iBooks and the Kindle app. I go nowhere without a book. If you notice, though, they are all free. ;-)  What can I say...I'm a sucker for free...

Today, though, I actually went to a bookstore. And while I was there, I bought books. Yes, indeedy, people. I have a bag in my car with actual books in it. I did birthday shopping, Christmas shopping and car travel shopping. Plus, I also bought a book for Ike just to encourage him to read. I'm sneaky like that ;-)

Check out my fabulous finds from Border's 50% sale:
Wizardology for Ana. She has admired this book for months. It will arrive at Christmas.
Dragonology for Ike. Loves dragons and the layout of text really works well for him. Also a Christmas gift. 
Cool Mad Libs and Goofy Mad Libs for our next car trip.
Lego Harry Potter board game for Ana's upcoming Harry Potter themed birthday party.
A laminated, folded Rand-McNally map of the US kind of like this one.
A new version of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid DIY book to trick Ike into reading.

I love books. I love sales. It's like the best of both worlds :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's so quiet

And I love it!!

Everyone, I am alone. All by myself. DJ is at work and the kids are at school. I took a few days off in case the school needs me for Ana. So here I sit. Doing absolutely nothing. I love the sound of *nothing* because it's so thrilling.

I need to hit the grocery store some time today and I should do a little baking. And I have a stack of books to read. I plan to plant myself on the couch and do absolutely nothing but read or watch TV for at least 4 hours. The thought is positively exhilarating.

I'm glad to be back to my blog after a little hiatus. Vacation...then football started...then Ana had her tonsils/adenoids out...then school prep. Add in my recurrent depression and I just quit going online for awhile. But day filled with luxurious time is a blogging day :)

And, it might just be bubble bath day. And chocolate chip cookie day. ;-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our triple-booked day

I apparently developed vacation brain before we even left for the beach because I managed to schedule THREE appointments for Ike on our first day back. Not just three, but three in one hour. The nutritionist was expecting him at 4:20 for an evaluation, the family doctor was expecting him for a football physical at 4:30 and the psychologist was planning to talk IEPs at 5:15. I remembered the football conflict and took care of it from the beach but the nutritionist only became an issue on Friday when they called to remind me about the appointment. I canceled as the IEP was the most time-critical. *whew*

It completely destroyed any leftover vacation mood but it was worth it. I don't remember what results I've shared, so here is the scoop.
  • His IQ scored at 109, which means his achievement would need to be 99 or lower to have the 10 point disparity needed for a learning disability
  • He was not medicated during the IQ portion of testing but was medicated (ADHD) for the achievement portion. Unfortunately, his IQ test included three subsets of focus, attention and concentration type tests and he scored very low on them. Think 2-4 out of 18. The remainder of his subtests were 11-18. When he did the achievement tests, though, the medicine was helping and it likely impacted his score positively. So...the lows showed in IQ but not achievement. 
  • Because of this issue, he score at 100. Which is a 9 point disparity. To think we are one point from school accommodation and I could have delayed the meds a week and prevented it..
  • She believes his IQ score is over 123, as that was his highest achievement score and you can't score above your IQ. If this is true, we have at least a 23 point disparity and we could get him extra help..but not with the 109 he have as the final scoring.
Since we met last, I did even more research. The Wright's Law books are fabulous (this is my favorite) and one gave me several suggestions for parents stuck in a 'kid needs help but testing doesn't definitively show it' state. When we met with the doctor tonight, she didn't have a plan in place but agreed that the ADHD complicated his testing. I suggested an option from the book that says a score can be given based on incomplete data - remove the affected subsets and re-score the remainder. She thought about it, pulled out her manuals and scoring guidelines and confirmed the ability to do so. It's considered a pro-rated score and she's recalculating his results then making similar adjustments to the achievement tests. We talked about the accommodations I have decided to request and she is going to include them as her recommendations in her report for the school.

I am so happy that we will be able to push for the type of support he needs to catch up. And you know what else made me happy? She complimented me on my research and commented that she would not have thought to do pro-rating as she has never used that option. I am the researcher in the family - I read sites, find the most helpful books, read everything I can get my hands on, talk to experts, etc. It's one of those jobs that can be depressing and draining. But in that moment, it was so worth it. I did it. My goal was to have this ADHD and learning disability question resolved before school started. I was determined to have a report in the principal's hands by the first day. And I did it. Completely and 100% on my own and based on my own observations and research. It happened. Ike is going to get the help he needs.

I may not be homeschooling anymore but I am still able to help him learn. I am his advocate. When he starts 4th grade, he'll have plans in place to help him succeed. I am so happy.