Number one when I tally the question emails since I’ve been on this three day blogging spree is “how is George, and how is he doing in school-school?”
George is really, truly just as sweet at six years old as he was as a newborn… We had a chance to review things when we prepared for his Montessori birthday celebration. In Miss Sherry’s class, when a child has a birthday, the parents come to class with a photograph of the student each year of his or her life, and for each year, as the child holds the globe and walks in a circle around their special candle, the parents tell something special that their child did or learned that year. (I wasn’t allowed to be there because of germs (theirs, not mine) and being immunosuppressed from chemo so they rigged up a video link from the classroom to my computer and Dixon was there showing photos and I was on the video telling stories and answering questions… )
So here’s his first birthday. We chose George’s birthday photos from each year, so they were precisely 365 days apart, being OCD sort of parents. And we used this opportunity to teach his classmates a little bit more about developmental delays…. we told them what George could do at each age, and how we celebrated that, but also told them what a typical child might be doing at that same age.
His classmates are totally cool. They have completely figured out George and what he’s good at and what he can’t yet do independently. And they LOVE him. They all claim to sit next to him at lunch every day, which is obviously a challenge when there are 24 students and each table only seats six. The other really great thing is that all the parents are supportive, too. They honestly see value in having their typically developing children in an inclusive classroom. (I had been worried about this, because in general, in this system of almost 150,000 children, the powers-that-be segregate children with disabilities especially from the schools where higher socioeconomic families predominate) ….
Here we are at three years old. But anyway, back to school. I think I told you all about how his school, his teacher, the principal were all totally in favor of having George at Park Road Montessori, but the school system headquarters guys were TOTALLY negative about it, and TOTALLY unhappy that we had sort of (or more than sort of.. ) been sneaky about the whole magnet school and exceptional children’s concept…. Well, it’s working out just fine. George learns new things every. single. day. His newest works are the US Map work (he still really struggles with his apraxia, but he reads really well, so he matches the states with a written card with the state name on it… he has mastered 20 so far) and a new decimal system math work.
Four years old – George is six, but there are lots of four year olds in his class. He is still quite delayed compared to even the four year olds, but they are great role models for him and they get along so well…. his friend Beckett today made sure to ask Dixon if George could come to his birthday party. Dixon said “great… what day is your party?” Beckett confidently answered that his birthday was in June.
Fifth birthday… and when I think about the amazing things George has learned and done in the year between 5 and 6 it just makes me want to cry. All the people who have come together to support George and give him the most incredible opportunities…. we call it George’s Village 🙂 .
Sixth birthday. If I had more energy, I would now post photos of all his siblings on their sixth birthdays. Honestly, he is very much like a young three year old developmentally, except for the reading (which is solid six year old, thanks to Sue Buckley ) and he is still pretty little, even compared to Danny at that age. Honestly, though, as much as we celebrate his every achievement, we don’t mind too much having a little one longer, since he’s our last. He also has the honor of being the favorite sibling. Each and every bigger child loves George best. The fun part: They all know he loves them best too.
And in the news, tomorrow we take George to an out-of-town doctor’s appointment to get his Aricept refilled. I know it’s controversial, but for George, it’s a game changer. Life changer. I’ll post more about it when I can include the new things I’m sure to learn at our appointment tomorrow.