Earlier this year, Norrin turned 10. And it’s been kind of a difficult adjustment for me. Especially during progress report time.
Having only one child, autism is all I know. Atypical is our normal.
For moms raising “typical” kids, a progress report is like a report card. Except there are no letter/number grades.
Back in April I reviewed Norrin’s progress report. He achieved 2 of his 26 goals.
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The goals are a combination of reading, writing, study skills, math, social, daily living etc., under the guidance of his special education teacher and additional therapists. The criteria is usually based on a 90% success over a (varied) period of time.
Whenever I receive a report, I don’t read it immediately. I’ve learned to kind of take them with a grain of salt but it’s still tough. Because in my head, I’m reading a report card. And I hated report card time.
Norrin’s most recent progress report (1st marking period) has 29 goals. He achieved one.
“The student will identify various components of the calendar (e.g. year, months, seasons, days of the week.)”
He proved his achievement yesterday when I asked if he wanted to walk to see the Christmas decorations. Norrin replied, “I don’t think so. Let’s wait until December 1st.”
The rest of Norrin’s report consists of 3 PIs and several PGs and PSs.
I know how smart Norrin is, I know what he’s capable of. To see that so much of his progress is inconsistent, gradual, that he may or may not achieve his goal – can be heartbreaking.Being an autism mom means focusing on everything your kid CAN Do, not on what they can't. Click To Tweet
So after reading Norrin’s progress report, I start thinking about all the goals he has achieved since his autism diagnosis.
Usually these goals achieved are the simplest of things. Except I know how hard he worked. How much time, tears and effort was required.
Over the weekend, I took Norrin to the playground and he played on the swings for nearly 30 minutes. All by himself. When I tell you it was such a struggle to get him on the swings when he was baby. He hated it. When he finally got over his fear, he needed help. He’d get frustrated or tired after a few minutes and move on to something easier. But eventually, he got it. After hours of occupational therapy, years of work.
Another huge goal is seeing his love of art and writing grow. There was a time when Norrin couldn’t hold a pencil. I could see how physically difficult it was for him. But these days, he can spend hours drawing. And I love seeing his artistic side. Today in school, he wrote and illustrated his own story!
Obviously, I would love to see a progress report with all achieved goals. But I know that he’ll get there. I remind myself how far he’s come and I tell myself he’s a kid in progress.