You've read my thoughts, concerns, fears, and random ramblings about my son, Cooper, and his first year as a kindergarten student with developmental delays and learning disabilities. Today, I'm going to share a slightly different perspective on Cooper and his first two months as a kindergartener through the eyes of his dad, my husband Cody. Here's what he had to say:
What has been the most challenging aspect of Cooper beginning kindergarten for you?
Cody: Probably the worry that he will fall even further behind or not get the attention he needs to excel.
Do you think his needs are being met?
Cody: Yes, I do. Because I think that where he is behind in some areas, he's beginning to “catch up” in others. It seems like he grows in leaps, and if the first try of teaching him something new, his teachers seem to be good at finding new ways to teach him.
Do you think it's hard to establish a boundary between helping him too much and not helping him enough when it comes to working on homework or practicing letters, sounds, etc.?
Cody: I don't think he can have too much help but I do think that if we don't communicate with his teachers and others who might help him sometimes like his grandparents on the methods used with Cooper to help him learn, his progress could be derailed. Since Cooper has cognitive delays, he learns best by repetition and practicing a new subject the same way over and over again. So if teacher is teaching him to learn and identify ABC's one way and we're trying to teach it to him in another way, it confuses him.
What is your biggest fear for Cooper in school?
Cody: That he will be left behind socially. That he will be socially ostracized. I think kids learn from other kids, so I don't want him to be outcast in any way. I think he needs that interaction.
Do you worry that his placement in a separate desk from the other children will result in him being singled out and viewed as different by the other kids?
Cody: There's pros and cons. If he's listening to his teachers better in a separate desk than in a group, then I'm all for it, but at the same time I don't want him in that seat all the time. I think he needs to be included in the group.
What do you think is the number one responsibility we and his teachers have to ensure Cooper sees success in school?
Cody: Communication. We have to constantly communicate with his teachers and therapists and keep a good, easy-going relationship with them so we can all make sure his needs are being met.
I hope you enjoyed reading a different p.o.v in today's blog. I know I certainly enjoyed the conversation with my husband, so much I plan to do it again. Look for another upcoming blog featuring my husband's thoughts on our son's special needs coming soon.
Does your local park include accessible play equipment?