Monday, October 24, 2011
Is he slow?
John was asked this about Jack a couple of weeks ago. I guess we'll be hearing those kinds of questions more and more as Jack gets older. When he was a younger boy, he just seemed shy, or quirky...now that he's bigger, the gap between Jack and other 7year old boys is widening. He is slower. Slower to respond to his name, slower to move, slower to answer a question. He still performs on grade level,,,but slowly. I don't think he would be able to perform on grade level in a regular classroom just because he wouldn't be able to keep up with the pace and the level of distraction. But here, at home, we slow down with him, for him. We ask him a question, and we wait. Repeat, if necessary. We repeat instructions, we slow down our expectations,,,,Jack slows us all down. We sit with math, and the calendar, and I ask him, "What month is it?" and I know he knows the answer, so I wait. And when he stares over my shoulder, I ask again. And when he says, "A clarinet is a member of the woodwind family." I pull his chin to me and say, very sweetly and patiently because if he thinks you are mad he will cry, "Jack, what month is it?" and wait for his gaze to clear and for him to smile and answer, "It's October! It's October 24th, and Halloween is October 31st, and my birthday is October 7th, and your birthday is October 16th, and you are 37 years old now!" And after having exhausted all he knows about October, we move on. Slowly but surely.