Sunday, August 11, 2013

The long and somewhat desperate search for the right kindergarten fit

Holy cow, what an ordeal it has been. But we finally chose a kindergarten for Quinn. We visited public schools, private schools, charter schools, a Chinese immersion school, and ultimately we decided to keep him in the same school he attended last year, which goes through kindergarten.

It is not as academically rigorous as others, but the teacher has taught kinder at that school for 29 years. She is unflappable and a strong believer in structure in the classroom, both of which are ideal for Quinn. And best of all, at the parents' meeting last spring she said her goal was not for kids to leave her class reading or writing above grade level, but that by the end of the year they all love to learn. Sold.

We're a week in now, and so far, so good. Ms. Kathy seems unfazed by the whirlwind that is Quinn. And her rigid classroom structure has kept him from spinning out of control as has been the case so many times in the past. We're hopeful, but also a bit nervous - in his last two schools, it was in Week 3 that it all went south.

Please join us in holding your breath and hoping for the best.

Up next, the search for the ideal first-grade classroom...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

No, you're not alone

I keep connecting with adoptive parents who are struggling with their kids' delays, trauma symptoms attachment issues — and they think they're the only one. So much of the adoption literature, listservs and blogosphere acknowledge that there may be issues early on, but indicate they'll be short-lived and easy to deal with. And so many agencies help would-be parents choose minor, correctable special needs without making sure they understand that lack of stimulation, neglect or abuse in those first few months or years can cause pervasive and lasting challenges for kids.

In the last week two parents I've connected with have asked me to return to blogging, and to sharing the truth about adopting a kiddo who does not catch up as we're led to expect.

So I've decided to give it a try. I hope you'll come along with me.