Friday, October 7, 2011

Bright Side Friday! Small Victories

My Bright Side Friday has to do with small victories. My son has struggled with speech/language/reading/ phonological issues ever since I can remember. I am thankful that we live in a great school district that has been able to provide him services, because we never would have been able to afford all of the work they have done with him.

Even so, over the years, there has been SO much frustration on his part and in turn, on mine. He is a very smart boy with a road block.  If I'd ask him the question, he could answer it right away. If I made him read the question, he couldn't even begin to figure out what is being asked. His teachers would say "He's a hard worker, but he's a slow worker". I finally realized it was because he spent most of his time trying to figure out what the words on the page were asking him to do.

This poor kid, who knows the answers, but gets them wrong because he doesn't understand the written question. Frustrating results time and time again. Spelling words made no sense to him. He memorized the letters as a picture or pattern. Sounding them out did him no good. He wasn't even capable of doing so. Every reading assignment a struggle. Every vocabulary lesson just torture. And now, that he is older, it has impacted ALL subjects. How can he describe facts about his Social Studies chapter, when there were so many new words in there, he was trying to figure it all out by context?

My heart wells up with pride for my son. This loving child with a hard head. Who could easily have given up long ago, yet for some reason doesn't. For all of the times he has felt defeated and frustrated, for all of the times homework has ended with one or both of us yelling or in tears, for all of the A+ papers his older brother has achieved with seemingly little effort, for all of the hours I have sat by his side and read his book to him so that it didn't take him hours to get through the chapter just to answer 4 questions on a work sheet, for all of the recesses and fun classes he has had to miss to get assistance, he never gave up.

And yesterday, as I sat at work, thinking about a million other worries, I got a call from one of his aides. My heart fluttered at the thoughts in my head. Would this be a call with good things or bad things? Is he struggling or worse yet, are they dropping him from the program? She was full of compliments about my son "kind, caring, loving, helpful, well liked" and compliments for me too on my part in how he has developed all of these wonderful traits. It made me feel good knowing that she REALLY cared about my son and his success. She then proudly told me that my son had exceeded his benchmarks for the time frame and she would only need to see him 2 times per week instead of 4. She felt confident that he had secured enough skills to build on moving forward.

In the past, I have had to be his advocate and fight for evaluations and services when I knew something was not right and he was slipping through the cracks. But this time, the news didn't hit me like a ton of bricks, it made me happy. Homework time has gotten SO much better. It is a little easier for him to understand. He has fewer questions and fewer melt downs. His road block is finally getting smaller and he can see over it now.

I am so thankful for small victories. What's yours?



  1. Yeah! What great news. You must be doing a great job. My mother has been a speech therapist / special education teacher for 30 years. She loves every child as if it is her own. Everyone of their victories, is her victory. So happy you have someone in your district that truly embraces working with children. It makes all the difference. So happy to have found your blog on Mom N Baby. Enjoy this your small victory this weekend, maybe with ice cream?

  2. Celina Murph - It's so nice to hear that your mom feels that way. I did thank my son's aide for caring about him and wanting him to succeed. She told me that his success makes her want to do her job even better. Absolutely wonderful to find someone like that to be on your side. Kudos to your mom! I'm sure that over 30 years, she has countless children (and parents) that are thankful she was in their lives. Thank you for stopping by and commenting... ice cream sounds like a great plan. =)

  3. That is great news! I also had to have speech therapy as a child and I was happy that I was given the same help. I also have a learning disability and having a brother and sister that are extremely smart. My younger brother has an IQ of 150 something. It was somewhat difficult, but I have had so many opportunities, etc. because of the tutors and help I received. I will also tell you that it made me a better person since I had to always fight for what I wanted and it didn't just fall into my lap. I became motivated and driven. Congrats on all of his "small" victories.

  4. Just Jenny @ Sippy Cup Chronicles - Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. I feel like you have given me insight into my son's future. He definitely has to fight. Sometimes his hard head makes me crazy and other times I'm glad he is hard headed. I think that is partly what keeps him from giving up. Congrats to you and your victories too!