Treading Two Paths

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?

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