Today I took part in Madison's first IEP meeting. Most of you who have heard Madison speak probably have noticed that she stutters -- well it's not really officially stuttering but it sounds kinda similar. She started with this issue about two years ago and comes and goes along side life's stresses and such. I am in complete agreement that she needs some help but it's really a tricky situation.
It seems like the more people focus on her speech the worse it gets. My girl is very smart and if she can get you to hang on to her every word -- she will. At the same time there needs to be a balance, but again it's just tricky.
I left the meeting feeling happy about the services she will receive at school but also left with this frustration with the school system.
My daughter is five years old.
She has been in school only 36 days -- ever in her whole life.
Yet today I read about how she is behind in reading and she is considered "at risk" due to her letter sound recognition. What in the world? I know these are just little tests and tools to help teachers figure out where a child is at but, gee wiz. I mean, I look at my daughter and I see a smart and creative little girl. I want her to learn how to play. I want her giggle and wonder -- not stress out that she needs to learn to read by the end of kindergarten.
I know it's all about state regs and such, but after loosing a child it really changes they way we see life. Knowledge in so important but learning to live life, in our minds, is so much more powerful.
With that said -- after the IEP meeting Madison and I went to Target and picked up alphabet flashcards and "how to make your child a genius in 30 days" type books.
After all, my little girl is the smartest in the universe -- we just need the rest of the world to see that :)