Tonight I am breathing a sigh of relief. FINALLY what I have been wanting for Hunter is happening! I was informed that he will be receiving Reading Support Services…my prayers have been answered. I have been saying for almost a year now that he needed additional support and what a weight lifted off my shoulders when I received the news this morning. Now convincing him was a bit of a challenge. But I think I have gotten through to him and he seems, for the moment, excited for how this extra help will be beneficial.
I can’t stress enough to anyone reading this how important it is for you to be an advocate for your child and to ALWAYS trust your gut! Yes, there will be times that you may be wrong. But 9 out of 10 times, your gut is correct. You don’t have to have a background in education to make your gut feeling any more valid than someone who is from an education background.
So now what? What happens now that your gut feelings about your child are being addressed?
PATIENCE. Patience for yourself and your child needs to be patient. While discussing what would be happening, Hunter was already saying how he does not want to do any of this (reading support and speech) next year. Well the reality is, he will probably need this for a lot longer than he wants to accept. I know it will take time for Hunter to grasp the tools he is going to be taught and apply them when he reads. My biggest obstacle is going to get him to want to read. He has been at his frustration level for so long that he truly does not enjoy reading whether I ask him to read or I read to him. This is a child who would sit and we would read 3-4 books at a time. So this is definitely a huge hurdle. Progress is not going to be seen within a week. It may not been seen within the 1st month. But it WILL be seen.
SUPPORT and FOLLOW THROUGH. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me. I will have a lot more work to do with him. I have to commit to this process and be consistent. Many times a parent will think that the extra support their child receives IN school is enough. Unfortunately it is not enough. The follow up at home is truly vital to your child’s success. So make sure you go through all the books, the flash cards, etc that are sent home on a daily basis.
COMMUNICATION. I am actually looking forward to this part of the extra support. There is no way Hunter’s regular education teacher could possibly communicate with me (or any parent) on a regular basis. She has too many responsibilities and too many other students that also require her time. But I am truly fortunate that his teacher does it anyway. But make sure to learn what terminology is used and what little “tricks” are used with your child during his/her instruction. It is so important to be consistent. I am always checking with teachers what terminology they are using in the classroom so I am consistent at home.
I feel like I am embarking on a new journey with Hunter. I have high hopes but I know there is a long road ahead of us. My no# 1 priority is to build him up. I want him to know he doesn’t have to be like everyone else. I want him to know everyone learns differently. I want him to know that I don’t expect him to be like his big sister. I want him to know he is smart. I want him to know I believe in him.
But for now, I will breathe a little bit easier and know I am on the right path for my son.