9.1.17 Third Grade Begins
Aleczander, age 8, has dyslexia, dysgraphia, and oral motor disfluency, something speech therapists call apraxia. He’s been struggling to learn to read, write and talk like other boys and girls all his life. He’s a behavior problem, public school teachers told parents. That wasn’t true. Parents, mostly Mom, coddle and indulge him, special education assessment staff and teachers opined. And yeah, as you might imagine, those school staff members sounded condescending as all get out . . . if a person didn’t know better, he or she might believe that the folks at that public school had never heard of reading and writing disabilities that affect more or less ten percent of the population. Aleczander actually has a medical diagnosis that explains why he’s struggling so hard to learn to read and write.
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 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 move slowly, but they are determined and persistent, and so is Aleczander!