First Grade (Part 1)

It has been a few weeks now and we are getting into the swing of things here at school, i am noticing that first grade is SO MUCh harder then i remember. Ok i don’t REALLY remember first grade, but i certainly don’t remember this amount of work being put into it. Maybe i don’t remember it because first grade may not of been as hard for me as it is for my oldest, J.

Many of you may or may not know, that J has suffered from a Speech Delay since forever, really since he should of been cooing say at 6 months but really didn’t. Somehow that whole hearing thing is really important in that sort of development. Well medical reasons aside when we finally got him to a point where he could now hear at 100% around the age of two we started him in on the speech, occupational and cognitive therapy to help him catch up to his peers. He still hasn’t caught up and i will tell you that i am fine with that. Don’t get me wrong, it breaks my heart to see him struggle, really struggle with conversational skills and just get completely frustrated with his inability to communicate even after 4 years in speech therapy. He has come such a long way though and we have done everything we could get our hands on to get him here.

At the end of Kindergarten last year i was able to finally get him back on an IEP (individualized education plan) since having his lapse when the public school system didn’t have speech therapists avaiblable even though he qualified for the public school program. Our county is really struggling in this area and they couldn’t fit him in. So i paid for him to see a private speech therapist to continue his therapy because i was just not going to let his progress lapse and we have great insurance that picks up 60 sessions of speech therapy a year, just enough to get him to Kindergarten.

In Kindergarten i really fought with the teacher to get him put back on an IEP (if you do not remain with the state provided program even if there is no one available and you get outside help your IEP will lapse) and she just kept telling me to wait that a switch will turn on… *sigh* I understand the need to be optiimistic, i do, i want nothing more than J to be more like the others, but he won’t ever completely and i knew that he needed this plan to get assistance. It came down to my getting the principal involved and this was after the New year and then things got moving. The speech therapist had already known about him and was helping him once a week without the IEP as a favor to us and i know that we needed that IEP to get him more time with her.


One thought on “First Grade (Part 1)

  1. Good for you that you kept fighting and finally got your son what he needed and was entitled to (although believe me I know how districts are struggling with financing and funding). I am sure he will continue to flourish! And I do think you are right, first grade was not that hard when we were young. In many ways I think they push kids too hard these days too soon. While that might be great to challenge them to do more and learn more earlier on, for those that struggle, it just seems to marginalize them even more at a critical time when they are still learning socialization skills. My daughter is in preschool and she is already doing stuff I was doing in first grade at her age. I say, “Let them play. They’re four years old!”

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