Sunday, July 27, 2008

Little Man- Troublemaker?!?

I'm such a mystery
As anyone can see
There isn't
Anybody else
Exactly quite
Like me'

And when
It's party time
Like 1999
I party by myself
Because I'm such
A special guy

I'm a troublemaker
Never been a faker
Doing things
My own way
And never giving up
I'm a troublemaker
Not a double taker
I don't have
The patience
To keep it
On the up

"Troublemaker" by Weezer

Little Man (LM) is my son. He is 6. When he was one, his favorite toys were flash cards. Our house was littered with ABC's and 123's. He would line them up in their proper order and say the letter names phonetically. He grouped numbers to 100, then by 2's, 3's, etc. He would go insane if you messed up their "order". Puzzles were fun one time only, all done correctly no matter how many pieces there were. He loved (and still loves) television, and would watch it only if the closed caption option was set on the set. He refused to speak until he was 2 1/2 years old. He spent over a year in speech therapy, from 18 months to 2 1/2 years. It did no good. He communicated using sign language that I taught him. He taught himself how to read at the age of 2. I knew he could speak, because he would read out loud to himself if he thought no one was in the room. I mentioned this to his speech therapist, she insisted to have him tested for autism. On his 2nd birthday, he took their autism test. I told the therapists that he didn't have autism, that he was just very smart. They told me I wasn't objective enough, I was his mother...what did I know? When the results came back, the report confirmed my opinion. He did not have autism, and that he exceeded the tests scale of 48 months. Yep, he showed them he was very smart. The systems only solution was to continue speech therapy, and I was told "have fun educating him". Uh-huh. Thanks for nothing. When LM decided to speak, he was 2 1/2, and he spoke in complete paragraphs. He hasn't shut up since.

On to education. He went off to pre-school and would read to the kids in his class. He drew elaborate pictures of the solar system, he socialized and had fun. They let him rule his roost. Sadly, kindergarten came and I watched him become sullen. He was convinced he had been placed in the wrong class, telling me and his teacher that he really needed to be in at least first grade. He didn't understand that he couldn't just move up to where he "needed to be". He questioned why I wasn't helping him convince the school that he was in the wrong place. Behind the scenes, I was helping him, I thought. I was in contact with the principle, his teacher, telling them he needed harder work to do. All they would focus on was his "aloofness", his "attitude", his "disrespect for authority and his peers". He was deemed a troublemaker, and spent most of his day in "time-out", and when that didn't show any positive results he was sent to the principles office. 4 times in the head of the schools office in one year, 3 of those times were between April-June. He had had enough, as did his teacher, the principle, and finally, me. Despite trying to be proactive from the very start of the year, my communications with his school dwindled down to me getting an earful from the principle about my parenting skills. NO ONE listened to me about how perhaps he was academically gifted, and was bored with their curriculum. I was told that "every child is gifted, and that our school district is challenging enough for his needs". Uh-huh. The last week of kindergarten, I started looking for a school that he would fit into. One that would not let him waste an entire year learning things he learned when he was 2 and 3. The day after kindergarten ended, he went to the University of Michigan School of Psychology where he took an IQ test. I resisted this type of testing, and only relented when it was a requirement for admissions to a gifted school in Ann Arbor. The test was supposed to take 2 hours. He completed it in 1 hour. The results again confirmed his skills. He is eligible to join Mensa. His score is higher than George W. Bush, and that isn't saying much for GW (nah-nah GW, your were beat out by a 6 year old). GW can't join Mensa. Mensa, in my opinion is over rated anyway. Unless they help provide grants for exceptional kids who need financial assistance for private schools, they are of no use to LM. He is not concerned with status.

He was accepted into a great school for gifted kids. It is a private school. The tuition is 1/3 of our household income per year. We applied for, and were granted a scholarship. We qualified for a full ride, but the schools budget only was able to give us 50%. I am now trying to find the other 50% any way I can. The school is willing to match any amount that is given to the school in my sons name. All monies collected will go to helping off set the remaining balance of his tuition. If anyone out there has any solutions for us in concerns of obtaining funding for LM's tuition, please let me know. If you, or anyone you know, is interested in helping an extremely gifted kid from a financially strapped family, reach his academic potential send me an email, or leave a comment. I am also open to any avenues of organizations who could assist. Bob C.- do you have any suggestions?? Finally, I will mention that LM has been promoted to SECOND GRADE. Yeah, the gifted school feels he's able to skip a grade! Go figure!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"A Rivers Runs Through It..."

Thanks to Red wishing Mr. Cuomo a happy birthday, I now have a new band obsession. I never paid Weezer much attention. I heard their hits on the radio, read silly stories about Rivers (my favorite: he lost his wallet at a show, some fans found it and returned it to him... In appreciation, he gave them his Harvard student I.D. The fans promptly turned around and sold it on eBay for $2500.00) and that was as far as it went. After the visit to Red's blog, I began hearing some of their new songs on XM. Curious, I splurged and spent $9.99 of my iTunes gift card for the Red Album. I can't get the songs out of my head, I can't stop reading about Rivers- he is strangely fascinating, and I secretly wish I could invite him over so we could hang out... I am pathetic. Hubby rolled his eyes at me when I said, "If more people like Rivers were in my life, I might be more interested in people". It's true....

Here is my favorite song off of the Red Album. It is a fan photo compilation, since Weezer hasn't made a video for this song, yet. It's called "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived". All right then, back to my iPod.