Monday, October 7, 2013

Late Emergent Reader

My pen hovered over the paper. I chewed my lower lip. I had to make the right choice.


I knew my daughter was struggling with reading. I got her progress report and it showed that she had a score of 514 out of a possible 900. Her score meant she was a Late Emergent Reader.

My heart squeezed when I saw that.

I had seen the word "late" a lot in school papers from my son. Tommy has Autism and has always been behind. Late. Delayed. Needs More Work. These are the things I'd often see when he'd get scores back. When I saw the same thing on Natalie's progress report I thought, come on, can't I have ONE kid who isn't behind?

And then I felt guilty.

It's just how they learn. There's nothing wrong with that. But sometimes it's tough, because on Facebook people post left and right about their genius kids. Kids who are in first grade and who are reading at a fifth grade level. Kids who are in the gifted classes. Kids who skipped a grade. Sometimes I want to post, "WHERE ARE ALL THE AVERAGE CHILDREN?"

I was average. And in high school, I was even in some honors classes. But I was never what you'd consider gifted. I never expected to have gifted children.

But, I thought MAYBE I wouldn't have to worry about Natalie. She'd be average, like I was.

Late Emergent Reader.

It's okay though. Things have changed since I was in school. I mean, in Kindergarten there was naps and coloring. Now the kids learn basic math and need to know a certain number of words. Maybe if I was scored the same way when I was little, I'd have been a late emergent reader too.

Still. I want one of my kids to LIKE reading. Tommy hates it. I love reading so I don't understand how anyone can not enjoy getting lost in another world, another life.

The other day a paper came in Natalie's folder. This paper mentioned that my child qualified to attend a group that helps children with reading. She'd be pulled out twice a week for thirty minutes. I'm ashamed to say my first thought was, "No. I don't want her to be different." I know it was difficult for Tommy to leave and go into the resource room. But at the same time, I knew and he knew that it helped him.

There's nothing wrong with extra help.

Early intervention is important. I know this because Tommy got early invention beginning when he was two when we discovered something was "off" in his development. If he hadn't gotten the help, he might not be where he is now. He might have retreated into a silent shell.

And so, I took my pen and circled the appropriate answer.



This will help her.

This will help her love to read.

28 comments:

  1. It will help her. When I was a kid I struggled with reading. In fact,I hated it. As I got older. I found the love of reading. It was "Anne of Green Gables" I wanted to read it so bad. So I pushed myself to get better and I did. She will find her love of reading.

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  2. I hope it does help her, a lot!

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  3. Lena struggles with reading too. Every other subject she does great in, but reading... She makes up words, skips sentences, and sometimes flat out refuses to do it. Because it's hard. Getting her that extra help and extra attention will go a long way! It also helps to find books that they enjoy outside of the class required reading material. She's currently whipping through the Series of Unfortunate Events, but if it's something she's not interested in, she struggles. Natalie will help guide you in finding what works for her. Trust in her and she'll get there. Good luck!

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  4. Being willing to receive help is one of the hardest things to do! But knowing it's right and will help her in the long run can help take the edge off! Good luck to both of you!

    When she publishes her first book you'll both look back and laugh about this! :-)

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  5. Both my boys struggled with reading and went through the title 1 program. I was amazed at how quickly they were on (and then above)grade level. It helped them so much.

    And I'm with you on the facebook braggers. Gag.

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  6. Zachary was just evaluated on his fine motor skills. I thought he was improving but the teacher said they are still "watching" him. I am nervous they will say he is behind but I do want him to get whatever help he needs.

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  7. MOST people are AVERAGE. THAT'S what makes it AVERAGE. Right? I know EXACTLY what you are talking about with your kids. My son struggled in school. We were happy he made it through high school. Turns out that he is probably slightly BELOW average in intelligence. BUT, he holds down a job, is getting married and life is good. True, he'll never make a gazillion dollars, but, he has a good heart, is a kind person, and has found a wonderful woman. I'm not saying this kid is dumb, but no means. He's a truck driver, has held this job for 9 years. But college was NO WAY in the picture for him. My husband, daughter, and I are AVID readers. We had books spread throughout the house. My son? HATES to read. You can't force them to like something I guess. I think you made the right decision to get Natalie the extra help. Do it when they are young. It's less embarrassing (for the kid) to be pulled out of a class at that age. In fact, they feel special!

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  8. Fostering a love of reading is the most important thing...good for you for making the RIGHT choice for your sweet girl! :)-Ashley

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  9. I know how you feel, really. Both our kids have dyslexia and as a result we have had to keep them back a year each. And they are by far not stupid, only they don't learn like other kids do.
    And despite all the extra work going into helping them school is never going to be easy.
    Some days I also feel that is unfair that it had to happen to both of them. I mean, couldn't it have been just one of them. And then to top it, the cousins are all doing so well at school and have advanced reading etc. And then I feel bad for feeling that it is unfair and that it should have been spread out between the cousins.

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  10. And she needs to love to read. She has a writer mama!!!

    I'll confess something to you. My mother was one of those braggarts. My daughter is 9 and she already has an IQ of 156!! My daughter is in 4th grade and can read at a 12th grade level... blablabla. I took that to heart. Until I hit college and then suddenly I realized.... I may have been a smart DEAF child, smart compared to OTHER deaf children... but I was NOT smart compared to the average kid. I was really quite average compared to another child, not deaf. Hard to explain, but self actualization can be a bitch.

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  11. Sending you hugs. I know and you know that getting her help now is crucial. As they say, "reading is fundamental." Without it, everything else will be that much harder.

    I had a friend who resisted getting her son the help he needed with reading in kindergarten. The school just continued to push him through and he struggled so much. Finally, a couple years later she finally admitted that he had an issue and did what she needed to do and now he's back on track.

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  12. Nothing wrong with help, for sure. And people on Facebook are full of BS, don't you know? I don't think of it as much in terms of being smart, average or not. I think a lot of it is just differences in the way we learn and process, as well as what we're interested in. Natalie is above average in many ways.
    I had a bad morning with Des at a playgroup because he isn't walking without holding onto something yet. And he's totally normal, but seeing other kids do it bummed me out.

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  13. My younger daughter is an "average" talker-she has about 10 words while her sister was already carrying on conversations at this age. I am struggling with not letting it bother me. The pediatrician even told me not to compare them. It's not the same thing, I know, but it's one of those things where I have to remind myself that she's perfectly herself and she will do things at her own pace. It isn't my fault or her fault or anyone's-it's just her. Once again, my children are raising me well.

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  14. You did the right thing. We all learn at different speeds and some need a little more assistance, that's all. xo

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  15. There really is a lot of unnecessary pressure on children and their parents to be "advanced." She'll find what she's gifted at with time and meanwhile, some extra one-on-one tutoring is great! When our son was a toddler he was always "delayed" verbally but I tried not to stress it because I knew there wasn't anything "off" and our son would get there (wherever there is anyway) when he got there...and he did. He's five now and not yet reading. There's all sorts of pressure to get him to do so despite the fact that we homeschool or maybe in part because of it but he excells in other areas like science and memorization.

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  16. I was a late reader (didn't read proficiently until I was 7) and I went on to major in English in college and then taught English to middle schoolers. There's absolutely nothing wrong with getting the support you need- and you're right, this may well help her love to read. Once I figured it out, I didn't stop.

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  17. You did the right thing! And the average and below average people are all there on facebook too. They just aren't posting about it because they are intimidated by the other people. But, comparison is the thief of joy, so you go right on being proud of your kids and celebrating their accomplishments!!!

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  18. People learn to read at different times. It drives me nuts what they expect a Kindergartner to know, here in Nevada Kindergarten is not even mandatory.

    Intervention groups are not bad, sometimes there is just a certain skill that is missing and when a kid gets it, they get it!!

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  19. Good for you making the choice that will help your child the most. It can be hard to get over our pride sometimes, but when we do is when we can really shine! I wish your daughter (& son) all the best as they grow!

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  20. She will be able to read - all kids learn at different times and in different ways!!!

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  21. I love your attitude. All the best to her. She can do it.

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  22. It IS hard, but you did the right thing

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  23. All children are different and excel in some areas while needing help in others. Mine are all grown, but they all were so different.

    Although I've always loved to read and was in the number one reading group (yes, even in first grade, we knew) I wish I had received extra help in Math! Math was always my problem area. There is no such thing as too much help!

    I think you made a brave decision and your daughter will prosper from it! Great job!

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  24. I think you're smart. I was put a year ahead (Sept. 21 birthday) and so was my sister, and I think they should have held her back. She took six years to get her undergrad because she struggles with learning and hates school. She doesn't like to read. There's a lot of kids I tutor that struggle with reading and writing, but they're talented in other areas, usually physical. Is she in sports or dance that will help give her confidence?

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  25. You did the right thing. She's still so young, she has so much time to learn, and hopefully enjoy learning because it's the right level for her. Those kids with the parents bragging all the time have to live up to that, and that's a hard way to live. Showing your kids that you love them, support them and are proud of them is the most important thing.

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  26. I don't think there is anything wrong with the feelings you are having and I am so glad you circled YES! I am surprised they gave you a choice. In our school, they just put kids into reading levels and each teacher has a different level.

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  27. I think you are a brave momma & you will make the best choice for your baby girl!!! BTW I nominated you for the Liebster, just an FYI... :) you will do the right thing for your family. xo.

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  28. I know how you feel - been there, done that doesn't seem to cover it though. There is nothing wrong with Natalie needing a little help - I think a lot of the benchmarks these days are VERY different than when we were growing up and we are putting too much pressure on our kids - but again, I'm a fellow autism mom and I just want my kids to be successful at their pace. I love you! ((HUGS))

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