Bren had his appointment this evening and it went extremely well. He is developing a good comfort level with Dr. T, which I’m hoping he will be able to put to good use now, learning coping skills, as well as later on when he’s older and perhaps needs help dealing with his intense emotions.
I had written more… but a lovely fluke with my laptop caused me to lose it and now I’m bummed… I’ll try to regroup, but it’s hard now.
Dr. T really understands the complexities of dealing with gifted/intense kids and it’s a relief to me. He can help us to prepare for things that may be coming developmentally, plus he’s actually a great source of reinforcing feedback for us as parents. It’s so easy to wonder if you’re doing the right thing. That’s why it has been so difficult to pursue the additional services for Brennan. As a parent you question if you are overestimating your child or being one of those parents who thinks their kid is a genius because he’s yours. Does that make sense? We think he’s amazing, but that could so easily be that we’re just loving, proud parents (which we are anyway!)…
Intuitively, we kept thinking he was different. And so he is… It’s hard though, because ALL children are amazing and have incredible gifts… at what point do you accept that your child has special needs? Did we let him down, just a little, because we didn’t seek this sooner? I don’t think so. I think the timing had to come together so that all of us, parents, teachers, and administrators, would understand that he truly does have different needs.
Filling out this form was actually easy for me tonight and I kept on writing, even when I exceeded the tiny bit of space they gave me. I DO have a better sense of his development now and I get it. Now is the right time for this. When I tried to fill out the parental assessment last summer, I just couldn’t do it…. I kept questioning everything and that suggests to me that the time simply wasn’t right back then.
Dr. T also supported our decision to teach Bren chess – he agrees that it will be fun and engaging for him, but he mentioned something else I thought was really interesting. He told me that it will help with Bren’s social development too, as he’ll be able to learn how to think ahead to the consequences of an action. I’ll be able to learn with him and that will also show him how grownups can always be learning new things as well.
I know it’s apparent that Todd and I love our sons intensely. I’m sure it’s even more apparent that I am very engaged in what is happening with them – developmentally and academically. My biggest concern is always to ensure that they are getting what they need. I wish I could say that we can provide it all. I want to be able to provide it all, but the sad fact is we simply don’t have the training or knowledge to do this on our own. By seeking this program with the school, we are getting that assistance we need for him.
I told Dr. T about the disagreement I had with my uncle this past summer, about the needs of gifted children. I’ve even had a comment on here that there is no such thing as “gifted” and I am still stunned at that. No – exceptional children (on both ends of the spectrum) do not do well just dumped into a standard class and left to sink or swim on their own. A child doesn’t begin resistance to school for no reason whatsoever – kids don’t work that way.
I know it’s tough to ask schools to work with exceptional children, but the fact is it is needed.
Emotional issues can develop. Children dropping out before schooling is completed. Crime.
All these things can be outcomes if the needs aren’t met.
And maybe those are worst cases, but they happen.
Even more? There is the potential loss to society.
But no…. I’m not thinking about any of those things right now. All I care about is taking the very best care of my son (and all his wild and wonderful quirks). The rest will be the happy by-product of who he is meant to be. He has a great kindergarten teacher… a great counselor… and he has parents who love him very much.
I think he’s pretty lucky.
The assessment is now done, sitting on my desk, ready to be dropped off at the school tomorrow. I did my best and I hope it’s enough to express who he is, what he needs, and how this can help him. I finished it off with this: “He will thrive if he is able to join the GATE program.”
And so he will.
Cheers from a parent, advocating for her child and doing what is needed…