So I just blogged our experiences from school the last few weeks. As I said, our new teacher has been staying in constant contact, what's even better is that it has all been good news.
So in keeping with that theme, I received a reply from her yesterday. The special ed director was wanting an update on how we felt the transition was going. Since I have not been in the class yet to volunteer, I emailed the teacher to find out how things were going from HER perspective. I heard that all reports had been good into the Principal and special ed from their viewpoint but it really comes down to what the teacher is seeing daily.
The email I got back was insightful and very, very positive! She said he needs gentle reminders to stay on track, but they are nothing out of ordinary from what all of the other (neurotypical) first graders need. He is getting help from parent helpers on the math sheet in class but she feels that once he gets into the groove he won't need that since he is doing really well working independently on the "math facts" sheet already. She said he is a very happy little boy who is very proud of his hard work. She has assessed that his self-esteem can be low and when you encourage him, he thrives!! Usually this is a concept that I have to tell teachers about and she already knew that 1 week in. Positive reinforcement is key with my son, his fear of failure is huge. She had good things to say about his ability to sit and focus, as is age appropriate, and that he is not needing any more "wiggle breaks" than what she is already providing. One of the things I liked best about her class were those chances to move along with learning. She said he is a great kid and she is glad to have the opportunity to work with him.
Hmmm, very different than "He's just not getting it, and he's not going to get it, even with the supports being suggested". OK, I confess, I have been slipping him a "get it" pill for the past week. I know, snarky comment, I couldn't help it. There is an amazing world out there for our special kiddos, and for those who teach them. They will gain as much from these children and the children do, if you are open. So I end this week with a very positive message from his new teacher and the hope that we've once again found a teacher (like his Kindergarten one) who sees him not for his disability but for his ability to shine and to illuminate those around him with the right help, the right direction and the right understanding.