First grade has taught Ben some important lessons. But we have learned a lot as well.
We went into first grade with some big fears. Will he catch up? Will he grow to love learning? Will he make friends? Will being pulled out for speech, occupational therapy, and resource be too much for him?
In the end, it's been a tremendous year of growth for him. He's made a years worth of progress and more in some areas!
But it hasn't been easy.
For a long time, we were focused on his deficits. We could only see how far he had to go and all the work we needed to do to "fix" him. I felt like if we just did x,y, and z then he would catch up and everything would be normal. This caused a lot of stress in our home -I'm just being honest. I had to take a step back in order to see the pressure that was mounting in him.
I am coming to the realization that he is on his own path. He is not broken. He doesn't need to be fixed. He needs to be understood. If I can understand how he thinks and how he learns best, then I will be able to support him.
We are visiting the neuropsychologist again soon. We are going to do a reevaluation now that he isn't on so many medications. We are interested in understanding him better. Some of his behaviors and learning difficulties look like ADD. But they are also indicative of slowed processing, speech delays, and sensory issues. We are hoping that we can decipher his needs better to see if medication may help him. We certainly don't want to medicate unless it is necessary.
I'm so proud of him. I love seeing him grow and I am willing to walk to journey with him - at his pace.