Friday, February 26, 2010


My older son was sick recently.

Granted, as I wrote in a recent post, most of my family was sick. However, it kept my 12-year old out of school for two days until he could be fever-free for 24 hours. He made it back into school on Friday, a day on which he had three tests. He missed lectures, though it was mostly review. He had his books at home, knew what was coming, and studied the best he could.

The results: one A, one B, and one C.

Normally, a “C” would be a signal for hand-wringing at home. We’re determined that our kids make A’s. If not A’s, we tell them we’ll be happy if they do their best. However, we’ve come to realize that we can expect A’s out of our older son. It wasn’t always so. When he was first diagnosed with his language/speech delays, we wondered how he would do in school as he got older. His challenges make it difficult for him to learn, but he has learned how to overcome his difficulties.

But as I said, he can get A’s. In elementary school, my older son once got a B in Art. My wife contacted the teacher to find out what had happened. It turned out that he’d misbehaved twice and had cost himself a letter grade. My wife thanked the teacher for his time and apologized if she seemed overly aggressive about the situation. The teacher’s response was that he wished more parents took grades in Art seriously.

So, we chose to let him take three tests on his first day back, instead of asking for additional time. And when the teachers e-mailed us the grades over the weekend, we told our son what they were and told him not to worry when he got them. We were proud he’d done well, in spite of being sick. We wanted him to move on and just keep up with his class.

The truth is, he deals with interruptions all the time. Our son is pulled from his classes several times a week for speech and language lessons. He misses a number of lectures and is always catching up. His personal goal is to get out of speech. He hates being taken out of class. He hates feeling different. Having to leave makes him different in front of his classmates.

We wish he could get out speech, too. And we hope for the day that he is ready.

I don’t know if we seem harsh or overly concerned with his grades. We just know he can do well and expect it out of him. And then, sometimes, we tell him it’s the best that he could do on a given day and that he needs to move on.

So, we moved on to next week, to CRCT prep, and trying to maintain focus, and keep him ready.

Until the next interruption.

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