If you’ve followed this at all, then you know we have struggled with Jack’s fine motor skills, and a few other things this summer.
We looked for all kinds of reasons for why he was behind — seizures, autism, Asperger’s, attention issues, you name it. We found some answers, some more questions.
We decided to wait some things out (any diagnosis) and try some things to help him along — including gymnastics and taekwondo. And we enrolled him in a Spanish-immersion preschool, to challenge him, foster his love of language and give him a slightly more educated teacher and a smaller class size.
Well, it’s working. At a formal PT and OT evaluation about two weeks ago, we learned that he has made huge strides in the past month. Some of that is maybe just growing up. And some, I am sure, is from the classes he is in. (And we will do a special social skills class in January to help him learn more about how to play with others.)
But friends, the biggest thing, to me, is his new Spanish teacher. I can’t tell you the difference she has made.
The class is small, loving, focused and full of feedback. Every morning she shares with me how Jack is doing. And his afternoon teacher shares details about his day.
They do a lot of tracing — and I can see this because now Jack holds a crayon correctly every time. Something he couldn’t do even two months ago. And he can trace his name, and all the alphabet letters, and they look pretty good.
And he can color. Mostly in the lines, mostly understanding what he is doing.
Sure, maybe all of that would have just come to him. But maybe a lot of it is the work of his preschool teacher.
The other day, Jack brought this home for me:
It’s a sunset. With a flower in the lower left-hand corner. And black birds in the upper right-hand corner.
I love it. It’s the first picture that looks like anything he’s ever made. I have been jealous for a while of friends whose kids made actual drawings. I confess. What was wrong with my kid? Why didn’t he “get it” that you could create something?
I see his teacher all over this — I know she tries to get them to imagine something before putting crayon to paper, guiding them through the process. I’m sure she had to hand him each crayon for the sunset.
But I’ve seen those flowers before with sidewalk chalk. So I know that is all Jack. And the birds are new.
And I am so proud. Stupidly, insanely proud. And I want to hug his Spanish teacher every day and thank her for helping us make Jack the best kid he can be. For helping him make friends at school, and to my friend, whose son is in his room, for helping buddy Jack up.
We’re here because they’re here. And I love it.