Wednesday, June 27, 2012

He Basically Failed Kindergarten & I'm Okay With It

Today was the the last day of school for New York City Public School kids.  It's also the day  parents start bragging on Facebook about their kids grades. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on those parents.  I'm the first one to brag about my kid when he does something amazing.  It's just that based on his report card, I have nothing to brag about.  Because The Boy pretty much failed kindergarten and if he were a 'typical' kid - he could have gotten left back.  

When I was a kid there were letter grades, now kids are graded by numbers: 

4 - Exceeds grade-level standards
3 - Meets grade-level standards
2 - Approaches grade-level standards
1 - Far below grade-level standards

And even though it's supposed to be a special education class for children with autism, The Boy got a 1 in almost every single subject.  It was no surprise to me that he got a 3 in Reading.  But everything else?  A big fat 1.   

For the most part, I don't care.  Because I have an understanding of The Boy's autism.  I know that the way the material was being taught was both inappropriate and difficult for him.  

I also understand that grades - in the grand scheme of things - don't matter.  Because I know a grade will not determine how much The Boy actually knows.  And I know goals are what really matter.  And he's met a lot of personal goals this year.  

Which is why I don't understand why The Boy got a 1 in Personal and Social Growth?  (Okay, maybe this grade bothers me a little bit.)

This year, The Boy had a friend from school over.  They played all afternoon and since then he's been asking for her and his other classmates.

This year, The Boy asked "Hey where's Dad?" when he realized he wasn't home yet.

This year, The Boy has made gains in potty training and self help skills like dressing and grooming.  

This year, The Boy's spontaneous speech has made me stop dead in my tracks. 

This year, The Boy learned how to count to 100.  

This year, The Boy started typing on the iPad - searching for things he wanted to watch.  

This year, The Boy's handwriting improved.

This year, The Boy drew a picture (rather than writing what he was asked to draw).

This year, The Boy raised his hand in class when he wanted to speak.

This year, The Boy sat in a crowded cafeteria and managed to eat his lunch.

This year, The Boy succeeded in an environment where he was set up to fail.

This year, in spite of all his challenges at school he has toughed it out.  And he's made progress.  Maybe it's not up to the teacher's standards but The Boy continues to surpass mine.  

Because I know the amount of work he puts in.

Because I know the effort he makes.  

Because I see how hard he tries.

And it's a shame that The Boy's teacher couldn't see the same.     


1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2012

    This sounds like he did wonderfully well in kindergarten. I hope my daughter can do as well when she is old enough.


AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.