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.