Making Progress With Help From Grandpa

A blogger writes about how her father took time to help her son catch up to his peers

Dreena Melea Tischler April 15, 2014
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The Captain first day 2012If you follow my blog, you’ll recognize that The Captain has the most “school type” issues.  He’s often very well behaved at school; it’s the learning issues we are working through.  Surprisingly, his PTSD and attachment issues seem to be okay in this environment; I think the big difference between the last two years and this is that he isn’t attached to this teacher and so doesn’t feel so threatened by the attention she pays to other kids.  Having a class 3 times larger clearly helps; all in all, behavior-wise, it’s going well.

He has what can best be described as “un-diagnosed learning issues.”  We spend a lot of time at doctors and taking tests but most of the issues are still unclear.  We work with him at home all the time.  That’s the nice thing about home-schooling the girls; we are sort of “set up” for life long learning around here.  Nonetheless, between school and his therapies and all the other running around we do, sometimes I just need to fold clothes or cook a meal.  He simply does not get as much practice and learning opportunities as he could use.

Enter the grandparents.  We were so blessed to have my parents nearby for several weeks;  they traveled down from Idaho in their motor-home.  They stayed close by, so we got some time with them every day.  My dad took The Captain under his wing and really worked with him on his reading skills and other things.  After seeing the great rapport they had built, I asked Dad to teach The Captain to tie his shoes.  [At this point, I should admit that I have never taught anyone to tie their shoes.  Both my older girls were also taught by my dad!]

As an act of faith, I bought The Captain a pair of “tie shoes.”  Dad sat down and started to teach him the process.  They succeeded.  I couldn’t believe it.  And it only took one day.

Dad and school worked together on teaching him to write his name, and now he can do it!  Last year we only got as far as him recognizing his name and writing the first letter.  He is also — slowly — beginning to recognize many letters; he had only 5 in his repertoire when my folks arrived.  He is definitely progressing and at a faster pace than ever before.

My folks have gone home now.  We will all miss them terribly, especially that sweet boy.  Now we just need to keep that momentum going!

Photo credit:  Dreena T

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Dreena Melea Tischler

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