Down syndrome awareness month (and it's also 'really busy month' at the Seal household). I have done a really crappy job of helping raise awareness this month. Hopefully I can get a few posts out before the month is over.
We met with Morgan's team a few weeks ago at her school. The special ed director from the district was amazing. I was prepared to fight and advocate for Morgan but didn't need to-- nothing to fight about. The team was incredibly positive and had only good things to say. I thanked the district lady for approving the aide for Morgan. She said it was a no-brainer. Life is inclusion. When Morgan grows up there won't be 2 separate communities--Down syndrome and typical. This is real life and she is right where she should be. Amen!
Her temporary aide, Kiersten (whom we adore!! She has a 16 year old sis with Ds and her husband has a 29 year old bro with Ds) was all tears as she thanked us for believing in Morgan and said over and over, "she is just so dang smart and I want everyone to be able to see it, like I do." Morgan will perform for her but no one else. She shuts down with her teacher and speech therapist. Her words, emotions and tears reminded me of my own. Trying to get Morgan to shine and perform in front of others instead of shutting down so everyone is able to see her amazing potential. This is the last week for Kiersten. The district hired a full-time aide for Morgan. And Morgan is not taking the transition well. I didn't think about the loss Morgan would go through when the full time aide was finally hired. Kiersten has been her best friend and security these past few months and she is starting to act out at school again and refuses to do things for the new aide. Hopefully things will improve as she gets more comfortable with the new aide.
During the meeting, her teacher and aide showed us the upcoming spelling tests for 1st grade. Mrs. D said that Morgan would be taking the regular spelling test and they were expecting her to know the words just like all the other students. I was pleased with their high expectations but also a little skeptical. We had never worked on spelling before, she's still learning how to write all the letters of the alphabet, and I just didn't know how it would work.
I couldn't stop smiling when I looked in her backpack and found her first spelling test. 16/20.
The note on the side says: " Heather and Gavin, This is the actual score Morgan got on her test. She is amazing. This is how we did her test . . . I had a small white board, I would write the word, she would read it, and then we spelled it twice together. Then I would turn the white board around and ask her to spell it again to me by herself. I wrote them just as she spelled them. She did awesome. I am so proud of her!"
So there you have it. My first grader is learning spelling just like she should be doing in first grade.
I would love ideas and comments of what has worked best for your child to learn how to spell. C'mon Scarehaircare...it's time for your video!