family

All the Honors

When our children were still in foster care we began the process with a “disclosure meeting.” In this meeting the social workers gave us all the information they had about our children. Many people put a lot of stock in these meetings. Personally, I don’t. The system won’t know everything about your children. Lots of trauma gets “disclosed” by the children themselves once they have a safe and stable family.

Anyway, we knew Carl received Special Education services. He had an IEP and we got to see it. As a special education teacher I combed through the evaluations for information. I felt that we could surely help him. The IEP was for an emotional disturbance but he lagged in academics. He was ending the second grade at a Kindergarten reading level.

Honestly, this was all quite understandable. His level of trauma was compounded by the grief of being separated from his mother. Add to that the fact that his bio family did not enroll him in Kindergarten until he was 6 years old. In first grade he missed over 80 days of school by Springtime. The kid had a lot to overcome.

In the beginning we were working so hard on our children’s emotional wellbeing, everything else fell to the wayside. Luke and I battled their trauma, soothed their fears and weathered their rages. In between I worked with Carl so that he could learn to read.

He’s come a long way in five years. Today, Carl doesn’t need an IEP anymore. He doesn’t receive any special services. He’s flourishing at his grade level. I can’t tell you how proud he is of himself.

This school year he’s made honor roll every semester. He’s going for high honors in the upcoming term. Every time Carl shows us a test or paper he’s aced, he glows. He’s so proud of himself.

We are proud, too. He gets the honor roll while we get all of the real honor. After all, we get to be his parents!

**Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

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12 thoughts on “All the Honors

  1. MS says:

    Love this! Fantastic news. That gives me hope that we might get there too – goodness knows our kids are clever, just not always in ways that are recognised by school. On on x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. skinnyhobbit says:

    Amazing. That your pride in his efforts have fostered his pride in himself!

    Overly cautious me has a warning: keep praising the effort, not the grades. Many Asian kids in Singapore, Korea, Japan feel that their worth is tied to their grades because of relentless parental pressure and their own socially conditioned self expectations. So sometimes there’s kids killing themselves over “poor” / “not good enough” grades. I’ve known cases where the child is abused for not getting at least 70/100, or even full marks. I myself would be abused especially if I failed (scored below 50/100) despite working as hard as I could (while being branded lazy and stupid) as a traumatised kid.

    Liked by 1 person

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