Wednesday, October 29, 2008

To Push or Not to Push

So, for the past year and a half or so, Dovi has been going to a reading tutor. He goes. He works. He reads. A little. As in less than my six year olds. He tries.

But he has such a hard time. I'm not sure why it's so hard for him. Is it because he wasn't pushed so much at school? Hi Keshet people, I know you read this. And I also know that you know that Keshet's AMAZING strength, and I mean AMAZING, MIND BLOWING strength, is inclusion and socialization. Dovi rocks the inclusion world. He has friends! Real, honest to goodness, friends at Schechter. He is able to appropriately navigate his way through social situations. Benjie was shocked one day, when Dovi, upon meeting someone new, extended his hand and said, "Hi, I Dovi. What your name?" So appropriate socialization? Keshet rocks. But educationally, academically, well, he hasn't been pushed as much as I might have hoped.

So is the reading tutor an example of too little, too late? Am I trying to get him to do something that he is simply just not capable of? I have visions of him sitting and enjoying a book. Maybe not War and Peace, but why not a Judy Blume book? Beezus and Ramona? That's what I want.

I crazy love reading. If I could, I would sit in my den, on my couch, with a cup of tea, reading all day. I could literally sit and read all day long. I want him to have that joy. But then again, Benjie...ummm...not a reader. We've been married 11 1/2 years (yikes). He's read maybe six books. And lest you doubt me honey, what have you read since we've been married besides a few Harry Potter books, a few John Grishams, The Kite Runner, and now you're reading The Book Thief? It's not a judgment. I certainly can't play ice hockey. You can. We have different interests that way.

But back to Dovi. Maybe he got Benjie's reading genes? Maybe I'm pushing him to do something that he just does not have any interest or ability in doing. He had his IQ tested when he was 6. It was not the greatest test because his expressive language was a tad lacking (as in he hadn't started the mind blowing, life altering PROMPT therapy yet so his entire expressive language consisted of "yah"). So he tested as moderately cognitively impaired. The tester felt the score was artificially low due to the lack of language. For example, he was shown a picture of a red box. He knew his colors. But since he couldn't say "red" he didn't get credit. If given choices, he could choose the right answer. But because he couldn't verbally express the answer, he didn't get the credit.

So I guess the whole point of this ramble is:

Should I be pushing him? Should he be going to the tutor after a whole day of school? Or should he maybe be going twice a week? She says he's progressing. But it's the eensy weensiest baby steps I've ever encountered. So is it worth it? Or should I just say, he's happy-let him be?


Mom said...

He loves the reading tutor and is very proud of what he learns. Let him continue with it as long as it is not a physical drain for him. I agree with you, I want Dovi to have the joy of reading books. FYI-Benjie read books all the time as a boy. We made the kids read 1/2 hour every school day and 1 hour every nonschool day.

Nahum and Rebecca said...

So my two cents is - just for pragmatic/ functional reasons in the world, it would be very good for him to have adequate reading skills. However, maybe some sort of specialist could give you guidelines as to how to proceed in terms of how often and so on?

Miriam said...

I agree- stick to it. You never know he may have some sort of a monster break through with this like he did with his speech.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it might be his glasses? Do you think that bigger frames might help him see better and make reading easier? Keep with it!

Orah said...

I once spoke to an expert in the field of special education, who reminded me once, that Down Syndrome children used to be institutionalized and did not speak or read because everyone just assumed they couldn't. What they came to realize later on, was that, Down Syndrome children couldn't read, because no one taught them to read. I am no expert, but I would assume the same for Dovi and other children with FD. You don't seem pushy, you seem smart. If the school didn't try enough, you need to try, or you will always wonder, "what if".

rickismom said...

As long as he is progressing, and not fighting it, continue. Reading is so importantin many ways. It is not only books, but bus schuedules, warning signs, recipes, schuedules, office hours, etc.

Shosh said...

when i first thought this i thought, who cares if he knows how to read, as long as he's happy. but now in these comments i see people pointing out that reading actually comes in pretty handy in life, aside from the pure bliss of sitting on a couch all day with a good book and a hot yeah, id say, go for it.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Aaron says: as long as he can read near or close to the appropriate level for what he needs to do, great. Anything beyond that is gravy. He probably just needs the same pushing that any other kid needs.

Galiah said...

I agree-- if he isn't physically drained, it makes sense to continue. WHat I would re-evaluate is which method of reading remediation is being used? Would an alternative strategy be more successful? There is so much out there, that if one is not working, there are many others to try. I'm not saying to go crazy in this, but that is some thing i would definitely re-evaluate. However, it may be possible that regardless of which method is used, progress will be slow (but hopefully sure).