Each year about this time the school sets up a time to discuss progress that Giovanna has made since the last meeting. These meetings are not always enjoyable because she tends to stay at the same level for a very long time and then when she does move, it is a sharp spike upward to the next plateau.
This year has been a sharp spike year! She has made much improvement in her reading and speaking abilities. There are still significant issues, but these are related to language production and not ESL issues. She will not continue her ESL class in the fall. OT was also pleased with her progress, so much so that she will not have direct OT time in the fall. However there are many questions that have not been resolved. Things like – why does it seem that she can’t retain some information like her math facts. Why is her vowel pronunciation inconsistent? Why can’t she control some of her behaviors – she tends to be impulsive at times and not heed warnings? Why has it taken her so long to learn to read? Why is her English so slow in coming? Why are multi syllabic words difficult for her? and the list could go on.
While there has been much progress this year, there is still a very long way to go. There was a hard decision to be made – will she progress to the next grade or repeat this one to see if we can narrow the gap between where she should be grade-wise and where she has consistently tested out (much lower). She doesn’t test close to her grade level and without knowing some types of information, it is hard to know how to teach to her so that she can learn and retain information. After much wrestling with God and discussion, we have decided to keep her in 4th grade for another year.
As I was telling her about the meeting today and that we are concerned about her low test scores, we have decided to keep her in 4th grade for another year. We have also decided that it was the right time to have a neuro psych test done. There are a number of issues that have not resolved themselves or have not been resolved with intervention. It is time to figure out what the underlying cause(s) of these underlying issues could be. The nuero psych test should help us in figuring this out. This test is scheduled to be done in 2 parts – the first part is 21 July is a couple of hours and the second part on 06 August will be about 6 hours! THere is a lot of paper work to fill out that gives background information and reasons for why we are seeking the testing to be done.
While this has been a hard decision to come to, it feels right and good to have made them. Today as I was telling Giovanna that she would be staying in 4th grade so that we could narrow the gap between what she should know and what her test results show, and to learn to teach to her way of learning, she didn’t really seem to upset. I explained that part of what we would do is to have her go through a big test to help us learn how she learns. She asked for some details about the test. I gave them to her and when she heard that part two would start in the morning and end in the afternoon, her only comment, “Do I get lunch?” Got to love that girl and her love with food!
So while there was basically a good report this year – there are still many unresolved issues. Pray for wisdom as we continue to seek answers. I am thankful that we have had a good year, but feel the need to dig deeper and try to find the underlying issues/causes/reasons for what I continue to see in her life. Pray that Giovanna will cooperate with those who will be doing the test and that we can get some accurate information about what the underlying causes are, that we can learn how to teach to her so that she can learn and retain information.