Pour Your Heart Out: A Good Report

Though I’ve said before that it’s not all gloom and doom here, it does seem to be the hard times that inspire me to head to the computer and type away at a new post. Needing to vent or to know I’m not alone is more of a motivation than when something good happens.

But for this week, I’m pouring my heart out about a proud mama moment.

autism parenting Last week, we had a conference with Bear’s teacher.

Up until this point, we hadn’t really gotten much feedback from her, though I did keep telling her that if there were any issues to please let me know. His teacher last year used to give me a brief update every day at pick up: what she was trying to work on with him that day and any improvements or setbacks she noticed.

But with his new teacher, she’d occasionally tell me some piece of happy news, but mostly she just sent him out of the pick up line with a wave.

We hadn’t had any emails or notes or phone calls and the behavior chart in his folder showed only good marks.

But still. We’ve had a hard time with school for our Bear.

So heading into a parent-teacher conference had my stomach in knots.

His teacher had his PEP folder on the table.  For those of you who aren’t used to all the abc’s: he also has an IEP which states the modifications and services he receives from the school for special needs. But a PEP is created for any student who might not meet the end of grade requirements.  Areas of needed support are noted as well as what the teacher will do in the classroom to help as well as what the parents will do at home, and what means of evaluation will be used to judge progress.

Last year, we didn’t have the PEP meeting with his teacher because she ended up in the hospital at the end of the school year when our conference was scheduled.

His new teacher said that she didn’t quite know what to do with Bear’s. Which had my heart thumping a bit.

Until she continued by saying that she thought she could just use what had been started in last year’s, but that he was so far ahead of where he was then that it’s not relevant any more.

And that if she didn’t have to create some sort of PEP for him due to him technically being retained, she didn’t think she’d make one for him.  And while she came up with two goals for him for it, she wasn’t concerned that he wouldn’t meet them(and he’s already met one of the two in the week since our conference).  She also said that when we meet to discuss it next grading period, as long as he continues on the track he’s on, we can deactivate his PEP.

She went on to tell us about how he is doing with the K-2 assessments that they use here and how he’s either on track or ahead of where he needs to be for everything.  She told us that he’s sweet and tries hard and does a great job and has friends…

She didn’t have a single negative thing to say.

Not one.

We’ve never had a meeting like this for Bear.

While some previous teachers have tried to soften the blow by starting out with a positive thing or two, the majority of what we’ve heard has always been negative. And with one teacher in particular, it was almost all negative.

So this? This was amazing.

I want to share with you because I want to share the joy along with the negative… but also because at this time last year, school was a total disaster. Everything just seemed so freaking hard all the way around. And here we are, a year later- and things have improved so much. I hope that can be an encouragement for anyone who is going through a rough spot- to hang in there, it really can get better. And maybe I’m writing this a bit as a reminder to myself for later- for when we go through a rough patch again.

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  1. says

    I always seem to be drawn to the computer or to write more when I am upset or going through something difficult too. It’s much easier to express my feelings by typing/writing it all out – and it does seem to help me to see the good in most situations too. So glad to hear that your guy is doing well!
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    • Shell says

      Same here- but I’m trying to make an effort to write more about the good- since there’s definitely lots of it there!

  2. says

    Hooray for a teacher who is willing to focus on the positive! Some folks subscribe to the theory that if they don’t point out all the things that need work, then they are doing a disservice. While I appreciate feedback as an adult on where I could improve, if all I heard about was everything I was doing wrong, I would NOT feel any incentive to improve.

    Glad to hear things are going better for you and your son this year!
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    • Shell says

      And it’s necessary to hear some of the negative- but when it’s not balanced out by some positive, it starts to feel so hopeless.

  3. Cindi says

    Such great news! The difference one year and, a teacher can make can be amazing. Glad you’re off to a good year. :)

    • Shell says

      I really do feel like the meds are a big part of it. They help him with his focus- and that’s not just academic but for behaviors as well. 

  4. Jessi says

    I never comment, but I’m going to on this one.  I have felt what you described-dreading conferences, having to watch your child endure a hard year at school (and you endure it with him/her), etc.  I have a son with special needs and it can be nervewracking, to say the least.  I love this post and am so happy for you and Bear.  His teacher sounds great too.  I love the teachers who can focus on the positive, especially when there is so much positive to be found.  Great job to all of you!  Hope the rest of his school year and the years to come are just as wonderful!

    • Shell says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jessi! It really can be so nervewracking, can’t it? That’s why we need to celebrate the good.

  5. says

    That’s so great!  We had a disaster year last year, too!  I started the school year feeling ill, but it’s so much better!  It’s such a relief when things go well!  Glad Bear is meeting all his milestones:)

    • Shell says

      Exactly. I know that we’ll have rough times- but this is really the first time we’ve had that positive report. 

  6. says

    I have tears in my eyes as I write this – I feel so happy for you. I relate to feeling terrified at what I’ll hear at parent-teacher conferences. I could feel your joy, excitement and love for your adorable little pumpkin throughout this post. And your relief. Thank you for sharing the happy news (I also completely relate to it being harder to write when things are going well!). Well done, mama. 
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  7. says

    Oh do I remember those IEP meetings with my daughter and her teachers… The stress of it all! I am so HAPPY for you that your had such a positive and encouraging report. It gives us strength and hope. Thank you for sharing so much from your heart. Bear is such an inspiration for many parents. Have a blessed day :) 

  8. says

    Oh Shell I am so so happy to read this!! So happy for you and yes you should share this and celebrate it as you have worked so hard to make sure he is getting the help he needs- and now look how awesome he is doing!!  So happy for you
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  9. says

    Seriously, I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I am so happy for you and for your little Bear. I know you have struggled and hoped for a good fit, and I am so happy things are going well for him. Yay!
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  10. says

    I hang on the appointments when all we hear are the positives so I totally get this. I am beyond happy for you! I’m so glad that so far what was a source of anxiety is turning into a source of happiness!
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  11. says

    That is so awesome, Shell!  You must be super proud of him!!

    Congratulations on Bear doing such a great job…and congratulations to you too!

  12. says

    I love so much that you made a point to share the good news this time. That is a great thing (I have to remind myself, because it is so easy to use a blog as a bit of free therapy when times are bad). 

    Congratulations on the good meeting. I’m happy to hear Bear is having such an amazing year. 
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  13. says

    This totally made me cry. For different reasons than yours, but reasons all the same, I experienced the same sort of conference for my older daughter this week. And I pretty much had to fight not to burst out into sobs in front of her teacher. 
    Congratulations on this pure joy moment…you and your sweet boy TOTALLY deserve it! :)
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    • Shell says

      So glad that you had that moment, too! Usually, I cry b/c of everything that seems like it’s such a challenge. This time for much happier reasons!

  14. says

    Oh I just started tearing up reading this. I am SO SO SO happy for you. What an amazing achievement. I hope you have much more good news in your future!
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  15. says

    What wonderful news! So happy for you! :)

    This was a beautifully written, inspirational post that shows how strong you are! Being able to see the positive and have such a beautiful outlook on tough situations is a rare quality in a person! 

    Thank you for Sharing! 

  16. says

    That is wonderful news. It will make me sit back, appreciate, and be grateful for those positive times with my own children. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the negative world. Congrats to you and your Bear!