Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Parent Teacher Conference

It is so hard to believe that it is already that time of the year - time for parent-teacher conferences.  I don't know why but I always get a little emotional at these meetings. I think it might be due to the fact that as Faith gets older it becomes more apparent that Faith does not have the same skills as her classmates - and I become very aware of her disability. In fact, due to a new grading system, Faith is probably going to be graded as a first grader instead of a third grader. But at the same time I am so proud of Faith for how well she is doing.
Faith at school with her dad.
Those around her at school seem to be noticing a difference in her wanting to be at school rather than asking when she can go home. It seems to correspond to the time that I began staying home in the mornings to help her get ready for school.  I'm not exactly why this is because she still fights some mornings about not wanting to go to school but I'm glad to know that once she gets there, she does a great job. The other day after school I was sitting with her having her tell me about her day and she said, "And do you know what else I did today at school today mommy? I gave everyone my personal best!"
Faith getting wheeled to her classroom by her morning aide
Her speech pathologist told us how she goes over the class's vocabulary words with Faith and how she helps Faith to learn the words. Every week she learns three different words and going back, Faith has remembered every vocabulary word she has ever learned - except for one. She can't seem to grasp the word "downtown." Instead Faith keeps saying "boomtown." I guess she's thinking of western North Dakota!

Her teachers also noticed that when Faith is listening to someone who is speaking with the same tone of voice for a long period of time, Faith loses interest in listening. They notice that the more animation and the more inflections one is using, she remains more attentive. This can be a little problematic when she is trying to learn things on her computer by listening as a lot of the voices on the computer programs are somewhat monotonous. They also said every once in a while they have trouble getting her to do her tasks, including driving her powerchair. When her teacher said she can be a little stubborn sometimes, Rob replied, "She comes by it honestly!"

Faith with her special education teachers whom she's had since kindergarten
For the past couple of weeks Rob has been going to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays to pick her up early. We are trying to see if this helps to alleviate her fatigue during the week. We have also changed her two afternoon feedings to Pediasure with 1.5 times more the calories than she was getting in the past. We are hoping this will help her gain weight along with having more energy. We have seen a few digestive issues with this new formula but nothing major.  All in all, although there are still concerns with her energy level and some struggles in the morning, she seems to be doing well in third grade!

Here is a letter that her teacher shared with us today that was written by Faith with the help of one of her aides:

Dear Mom and Dad: 

Let me tell you about the first 30 days of third grade. My favorite thing about third grade is to learn. I also enjoy listening to Mrs. Ternes read to the whole class. We are reading Charlotte's Web. My favorite books to read are stories about Arthur. Reading is my favorite subject in school. Snack time is another favorite activity. I really like crackers the best. 

In gym, I like working with Judy. (Her physical therapist). I like to sing with Mrs. Hall in music class. I like third grade and all my friends here at school. 

Love, 

Faith 

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