Pandemics, Special Ed, and Rolling With the Punches

Generally, I would say I’m pretty good at rolling with the punches. Fifteen-plus years of parenthood has taught me to make good plans. It’s also taught me to be flexible, because plans usually get shredded. But simply having one allows me to know the parameters and priorities, which, when plans do get shredded, leaves me…

Read More

The good and the bad, part 1: Distance Learning

I’m processing my life right now by writing through it, and the thing that’s striking me is, once again, how close together the good and bad things in life are. So I figured I’d share some of those good-and-bad things. It’s turned into far too long a post… you know, every time you process one…

Read More

Testing (or: when a morale-booster ends up being demoralizing)

This past week, we got the results of Julianna’s “re-eval.” Now, for those of you who are not immersed in the world of special education, part of the process is that every three years a child must be re-evaluated to make sure they still qualify for special ed. There’s a whole battery of tests, and…

Read More

Fun With IEPs

Fun fact: I spent 2 1/2 years as a music ed major before deciding all I really wanted to do was play my flute, and I universally hated every one of my education classes. The class that broke me and caused me to switch? Special Education For Non-Special Educators. It took me until Julianna was…

Read More

Michael Mayhem Graduates Preschool

Michael, with his toy guitar: “This next song is called “Starlight Can Never Destroy A Death Star So I will Use My Laser.” I went to his end-of-year celebration at his preschool yesterday, which consisted mostly of him attacking me at frequent intervals with flying leaps and fierce hugs interspersed with little girls coming around…

Read More

On Julianna, at the end of Grade 2

Every so often, I like to share some of Julianna’s school work and progress. I need to be clear: this is not a total picture of Down syndrome. It’s not even a total picture of “what a person with Down syndrome can do in the second grade.” There’s a vast range of ability among people with…

Read More

Why I Love Both Catholic AND Public Education

When I contemplated parenthood, certain things were never a question. For instance: I knew my kids would go to Catholic school. To be honest, having grown up in Catholic grade school and worked in a Catholic grade school, as well as subbing in the public schools, I was a little snotty about it. The Catholic…

Read More

The pros of repeating first grade

At the end of last school year, Christian suggested to me that perhaps we should have Julianna repeat kindergarten. I told him no way; why would we do that? She’s basically with all her peers. He shrugged and said, “Okay,” and that was the end of that. By the time I attended the Down Syndrome…

Read More

A Snapshot of a First Grader With Down Syndrome

It’s been a month of Tuesdays with Julianna in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and I thought I would wrap up by giving you a snapshot of her academic skills two months into the first grade. Bear in mind this is only a snapshot of one child, a single individual; I know of children…

Read More

Julianna (a 7QT post)

___1___ The decision was made at the end of last week: Julianna will remain in public schools. I would like to say we made it, but the truth is that the Catholic school decided they simply couldn’t serve her. I was relieved, because for quite some time I’ve been moving toward the conclusion that she…

Read More