Treading Two Paths — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Treading Two Paths

by Kimberly


I was so hoping this year to focus on building social scaffolding for the child at school. I’m dreaming of setting up a circle of friends who will know, understand, and advocate on her behalf as her differences become more apparent to her peers. I am just beginning the process of working out what that might look like, but there’s a distraction looming.

It’s becoming more clear that in addition to her oral language challenges, my daughter also struggles to express her thoughts in written form. In second grade the writing assignments have ramped up, both in school and out. She often cannot complete the same amount of work as her peers, and there are some pretty clear signs of dysgraphia. The other day she wrote a Haiku, and though she knew the number of syllables required for each line she left out words that were essential to the meaning and to the syllable count. That’s just one, recent, example.

So I had a meeting with the relevant IEP team members and we discussed our next steps. We’ve already asked the Occupational Therapist to observe and have ruled out distraction and fine motor skills as the culprits. Next up is some observation by the Resource Room Specialist, and another meeting in early February. The length of the process always kills me. She needs help…now! Let’s help her…now! But I also know it takes time to figure out the best way to help. Time that will inevitably distract me from my preferred goal for the year.

They are related, though, which may help me continue to make progress. You know how kids will tease the slightest difference. The child is socially aware enough to feel and hurt over that sort of negative attention. So far her teacher says the kids are very kind to her, but I can already see signs of it changing. Time to get that hedge of friends up.

What do you do when your goals have to shift? How do you change gears, or do you tackle two things at once?

Email Author    |    Website About Kimberly

Kimberly is the mother of three wonderful children: an eight-year-old who is somewhere on the autism spectrum, and twin four-year-olds who are just very busy little people. We live on routine with a side of novelty.

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1 Marie December 7, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I have SO been there. My eldest daughter, now 17, was diagnosed with dysgraphia in 4th grade. She struggled for SOOO long before she got help. My youngest daughter, 8, presents with full blown Dyslexia. We went through the special ed process this year and she scored too high to receive services…even though most of her writing is illegible to everyone…including her. We are now pursing a private diagnosis so she can get help through a 504. Good luck with your journey…it can be SO frustrating!

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