I have always felt like I had one child that was like a "normal" marker for me. Tyler was over the top academically and he set the bar of expectation to high for the other kids. But Brennan seemed to be the child who was such a typical kid. I even looked to him and felt some relief reminding my self that I had not caused or invented all of the other kid's disabilities... because after all, Brennan was raised in the same family and he was okay. And then we had fourth grade conferences. And now I am questioning my theory...
Brennan has always had difficulty with handwriting and a struggled a bit in math. I really thought it was that he lacked motivation. He would much rather play video games and ride dirt bikes than pick up a book (sounds like a typical kid to me!) He is such a smart kid---sensitive, kind, and can carry on a decent conversation. Brennan is a great oral reader--he reads well and with expression.
But his comprehension is very low. His math skills are taking a long time in coming. He is struggling. I now I am faced with deciding if he should be referred for testing. I do not want to miss a learning disability that we could help with. But I also know that as one of only a few African American students in his grade, Brennan hates more than anything to be singled out. His whole life is about standing out and he was not wired for that. As a baby, he was shy and didn't like to attention drawn to him. Even the testing process alone will be so uncomfortable for him.
And yet, I feel like it would be beneficial to get him tested. I am thinking about getting an independent evaluation so we can seperate the testing from school. And then, we can decide whether it would hurt him or help him to provide services through out his day.
My thinking is that testing could help us learn strategies and approaches to facilitate his learning. But I do not want to do more harm than good..
I have to face my own issues each time a child struggles in this family. As much as I try to seperate my own "success" as a mom by how the kids are doing, it is at times like these that I have to yet again remind myself of the fact that my worth as a mom has nothing to do with my children's success.
I just can't imagine having to manage 8 IEP's...