I spent time with The Bestfriend, The Husband took me out to dinner *and* bought me some pretty fall flowers (and got the most romantic card ever!). The kids showered me with homemade cards that told me I was so so so so so so so so so so great. I love those.. the homemade cards. Even when the twins use up an entire package of construction paper and bring me 50 birthday cards that all say the exact same thing.. It's my favorite. :)
I had Andy's goal setting conference at school this morning. He's really reading below grade level right now. Which I knew. I don't know how he passed the dyslexia screening last year. He's still reversing a LOT of things. B's and D's almost all the time. E's and 3's. He is even writing his 5's backwards a LOT. He gets word placement in a sentence mixed up. She gave him a simulated TAKS test (Texas' state standardized test) and he passed 8% of it. 8. That's NOT good. He couldn't even finish it. She finally had him stop because he was getting so discouraged and she didn't want to bring his confidence down any further. Bless her for that. So, she's got the folder started for the dyslexia re screening process. She's also got him in a small reading recovery group with the dyslexia therapist that works with Justin. I told her that I don't *want* Andy to be dyslexic... but that I just really feel that he is. And when Justin started seeing the dyslexia therapist in 2nd grade, it just made a world of difference in his reading strength and confidence.. and I just want that for Andy. She agreed.. She told me what a sweet boy he is and how much she really enjoys having him in her class. He has such a good heart.. like his daddy. :)
Hannah's goal setting conference was last week and it was much the same as Andy's. Both of the twins are showing the dyslexia warning signs just like Andy. It frustrates me that 4 out of my 5 children struggle SO much with reading. Reading was always a strength for me in school, so it pains me that they don't find the same in enjoyment and escape into reading that I always did. For them it's a frustrating battle of decoding words and by the time they've decoded a particularly hard word, they've gotten so frustrated that they've forgotten most of the story. It's sad to me. I want them to get into the therapy groups like Justin did, and the sooner the better. Justin is finally able to read for pleasure. And that excites me and warms my heart. I want that for Andy and the twins. Hannah's teacher also said that she's really lacking in vocabulary and conversation skills. She doesn't pay attention very well. So we've been working on teaching her how to have a proper conversation and not go off into twin land and start talking about whatever pops into her head instead of actively listening and processing what's being said to her. Honeslty, it's ADD at it's ugliest with the twins. We have that screening going on right now, as well. I hate feeling like there is something "wrong" with each of my kids. If it's not a learning disability, it's a behavior issue or a mental illness. But, as much as I hate labels like that..labels come with action plans for solutions. And that makes successful kids. I just wish I could just send my kid off to school, they learn normally without extra intervention, and act normally, without extra intervention, come home to lead a normal life. I was given 5 special kids.. I feel honored and overwhelmed all at the same time.
But I find that keeping a "business as usual" attitude makes it all fall into place. It's only when I tell people or teachers what it's like afterschool in my house.. making sure everyone gets a healthy snack and the chores get done, and making sure Jason takes his medication, and how I scatter the homework times for each kid so that I am able to having one on one help time with each of them... and then they look at me in disbelief and say something like "I don't know how you do it, you're amazing".. and I just think, "no I'm not". It just the way it is in my house. It's what needs to be done. It's not amazing. It's just business as usual. I find I enjoy the hectic pace most of the time. It gets overwhelming and I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of permission slips and practice spelling tests and announcements that I get 5 times because they haven't figured out I have more than one kid and I don't need to know that there is a PTA meeting on 5 peices of paper. But the times that I'm sitting on the couch helping someone with a math problem.. or snuggled up reading a Magic School Bus book with someone.. those times make me realize, this is being a mom. And I love it. :)