The Ghost of Foster Care (Goes to School)

October 16th, 2013

TInker SassyOur little Miss, Tinker, has just completed her first nine weeks of school. I haven't seen her "marks" yet, but I can assure you, school is an arena of success for the little monkey. ¬†Only one day out of the 45 so far has she said "I don't want to go" -- and she had a terrible cold. Even so, she changed her mind mid-morning and begged me to take her! (I did not, of course!) She loves school, she respects her teacher, she adores her pod-mates and she even loves aftercare. In fact, on several occasions, I have gone to pick her up early from aftercare only to have her complain that I'd arrived too early! Don't get me wrong; there… [more]

Progress

November 28th, 2012

The Captain first day 2012If you follow my blog, you'll recognize that The Captain has the most "school type" issues. ¬†He's often very well behaved at school; it's the learning issues we are working through. ¬†Surprisingly, his PTSD and attachment issues seem to be okay in this environment; I think the big difference between the last two years and this is that he isn't attached to this teacher and so doesn't feel so threatened by the attention she pays to other kids. ¬†Having a class 3 times larger clearly helps; all in all, behavior-wise, it's going well. He has what can best be described as "un-diagnosed learning issues." ¬†We spend a lot of time at doctors and taking tests but most of the… [more]

Advocating for My Loved One

August 28th, 2012

The Captain first day 2012Well, the school year has started for us; I'm sure I will write later about our first day. ¬†I couldn't help but contrast the picture of the start of the year to that imaginary first day of school I dreamed I would have as a young mother. In my idealistic young adulthood, I thought kids headed off to Kindergarten would be all about getting them the cutest outfit and lunchbox, teaching them to tie their shoes and memorizing their phone number. ¬†It was a super-sweet dream. My reality? ¬†I'm not a "young mother." ¬†I'm an old one and often harried. ¬†Two days before school started, I finally realized The Captain (headed to Kinder) and Tinkerbell (headed to PreK three hours… [more]

The Captain and School

August 2nd, 2012
Categories: School issues

tin man sweet faceThis week, after nearly a year of waiting, The Captain had his appointment with the Developmental Psychiatrist.¬† We are looking at his cognitive ability and his school readiness.¬† Back in April, we had not one, but two ARD meetings to decide - well - his fate, school wise.¬† We wound up with a plan that sent him to Kindergarten, but with a dedicated aid an hour a day and with some other accommodations. This was the most the school could offer because so far his only noted exception is his speech deficit.¬† I argued that he is lagging behind in phonemic awareness, number awareness and every other sign of "readiness" I am aware of.¬† They countered that lots… [more]

Advocating

April 23rd, 2012

A couple of weeks ago we had the ARD meeting to set my son's educational plan.¬†¬† At the meeting, we set an uneasy goal to send "The Captain" on to kindergarten next year.¬† I left unsettled. As the next week or two went by, I began to worry.¬† The Captain was struggling at school.¬† He was hitting, fit-throwing and generally¬† The captain - haircutuncooperative for at least part of each two-hour school day.¬† How on earth could this child succeed at a 7-hour day with "regular" kids.¬† Not that The Captain is "irregular."¬† But his little PEAR class (Pre-school Expressive and Receptive language program) has only a handful of 3 to 5 year olds, all with speech deficits and many with¬† other… [more]

ARD, IEP and other Alien Words

March 16th, 2012
Categories: School issues

The captain - haircutOur 5-year-old (The Captain) has been in a Pre-K program through the school district these past two years.¬† It's called PEAR, Pre-School Expessive and Receptive Language program.¬† In short, they teach the kids how to talk.¬†¬† At that time, he spoke so little that the nature of his deficit was not obvious.¬† Now, most of the experts in his world think it is a speech delay and that is likely the result of the trauma caused by living most of his early life in foster care. It's a wonderful program taught by a special ed teacher with a speech pathologist.¬† When I look at their plans for the week, it looks like any pre-school program: stories, playtime, painting, cooking, sensory… [more]

Summer Reset

July 23rd, 2011

The Captain whimsey baptism I'm looking at the calendar and freaking out a little:¬† School is right around the corner.¬† In less than two weeks we will leave on our family vacation and when we return, it's a week until school starts. I realize most parents would be thrilled at this prospect, but not me.¬† I am concerned that our four-year-old is not ready to go back.¬† He is in a pre-school expressive language program (2 hours a day) because his¬† communication skills are behind his peer level.¬†¬† School has definitely helped him here, but it has opened up a whole other can of worms. This little one has been through a lot in his short life.¬† We were his 6th move.¬† He wasn't 3… [more]

Slopping Through Murky Waters

March 19th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

1238929_untitledAs I sit in the hospital with my youngest child my mind drifts back ten years when it was my middle son, OSG, that was having medical issues. The walls have changed but the heart behind those in a caregiver positions remains intact and this is good. Thank heavens for those in sacrificial caregiver positions. Very little has the capacity to strike fear in any parents heart as when a child is sick. OSG was sick as a child. When he came to us he had struggled his first two years with the after effects of prematurity, no prenatal care and a host of other negatives. He not only joined our family as a foster child [later to be adopted] but he flew… [more]

Are You Growing?

February 4th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

1149240_time_for_math_2In previous posts, I referred to my middle son as Orange Shoe Guy (OSG) out of sheer delight for his choice of very bright, orange footwear. I will continue to call him that for the sake of anonymity. OSG is a great kid. He is interesting and lovable, but he struggles. He struggles with medical issues. He struggles with dyslexia. He struggles with math. He struggles with anger. So many times, he looks at me in frustration and asks, "Why can't I do it? Why can't I run like the other kids? Or do math?" Sometimes, I don't know what to say. OSG came to us from a bad situation. He was taken at birth from his biological mother and placed in the Foster Care… [more]

Merry Christmas…for who?

December 20th, 2010
Posted By: on Foster Adoption

1245801_merry_christmas_2I called me son's teacher a couple nights ago. When she answered I started with usual question of, "Hello, how are you?" Long pause..."Ummm, fine" she unsteadily replied. "Would my son be the reason you are 'Ummm, fine?" "Well, lets just say he is 1/29th of the problem. Whoever penned the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year" was obviously not a teacher," she jokingly reported. She went on to say the whole class was stressed although, yes, my son was struggling more than others. I was not at all surprised by her comment. Holidays are hard on him. They always have been. He is the type of child who needs a lot of structure. He thrives on routine and likewise, does not perform well… [more]