9.1.17 Third Grade Begins
Aleczander, age 8, has dyslexia, dysgraphia, and oral motor disfluency. He’s been struggling to learn to read, write and talk like other boys and girls for his entire life. For two years, the public school system blamed Aleczander and his parents for his academic challenges.
He’s a behavior problem, teachers told parents. You parents, mostly Mom, coddle and indulge him, special education assessment staff and teachers explained. And yeah, as you might imagine, school staff members sounded condescending as all get out . . .
The actual name for Aleczander’s congenital medical condition is developmental dyspraxia. On 9.20.16, Dr. Jerry Tomasovic provided Aleczander’s medical diagnosis. Teachers who tell you that Aleczander is going to learn to read, write, and talk like other children, mostly easily and effortlessly, aren’t mistaken or misinformed, they are lying to you, Dr. Tomasovic told Mom.
By this time, Aleczander’s parents had given up on public school and enrolled Aleczander at Salem Sayers Baptist Academy. It’s easy to tell from this video that Aleczander still needs speech, OT, PT, and academic therapy; after all he’s 8 years old and working at Kindergarten Level. But good teachers are good teachers and Melissa, his second and now third grade teacher, is already working miracles again this year for Aleczander. Listen to her encourage him! He starts out literally sweating because the work is so tough for him. Fifty seconds later, he’s smiling and saying, “Tell Mommy and Daddy I can do my work! I only have one line left!” And what is truly amazing about this particular work sample is that, for the first time in his entire life, Aleczander has written the letter /u/ without turning his paper upside down and writing /n/’s. Aleczander’s favorite animal is the turtle, and I’m beginning to understand why. Turtles are slow, but they are determined, just like Aleczander!