Strengths and Challenges

Naturally I feel really proud of Justin’s abilities and accomplishments, but occasionally it does intimidate me that my five-year-old is an intellectual powerhouse (albeit with his own set of issues — four toileting accidents this week) and I am not. He had his literacy screening at school yesterday, where the kids all get tested on their pre-reading skills, and obviously he sailed through that. But his teacher clearly hadn’t read the file on him — she said she didn’t get a chance to have him read to her, but she’d like to give him a little booklet that he could take home and read. Then she handed me a booklet full of two-word sentences. When I said that was too easy, she dug out a slightly more difficult one, and when I vetoed that too, and explained that he’s reading at a third grade level right now, she looked stunned. She did say she’d try to come up with something more appropriate for him, which is good, but she should’ve known about this already. What’s the point in sharing reports if no one reads them? Argh.

I mentioned this to his old preschool teacher, who nodded and said she’d never had a kid with this combination of skills before, and it’ll be up to me to keep pushing his teachers to challenge him. (She also said to keep her on his list so that if he invents cold fusion someday, he’ll know who to thank…she’s done wonders for him!)

This is not to say that he doesn’t have things to learn. He can count to infinity but can’t tell me whether 6 is more than 4. He won’t play tag in gym class and always turns away when the class sings songs together. He nearly threw a fit one morning cause I parked in a different spot when I picked him up from school. And of course he has been the world’s toughest kid to toilet train. But when I see him at the computer, typing out (from memory) the names of everyone in his class in alphabetical order, I know this kid is going to do some great things.