Tuesday, June 3, 2008

XOX from Caden

"eh", "oh", "eh"....I am at the playground with Caden but I am also talking on my cell phone (bad mommy!) so at first these sounds don't fully register. I watch Caden spin the boxes of a large wooden tic-tac-toe board. He babbles away, "eh", "eh", "oh" and finally my multi-tasking brain recognizes Caden's sounds: he knows his letters!!!!! He is saying "x" and "o" as he spins them around on the game board. My suspicions are confirmed - my boy is a genius! We have been using the Love and Learning series with Caden for about a year now so I knew he could sight read over 30 words. I didn't realize he was also catching on to the alphabet. This kid finds new ways to blow me away every day of his life.

At his transition evaluation last month, I mentioned that Caden was sight reading and one of the therapists said "Yeah, we noticed on his last EI review that he could read 30 words but we thought it must be a mistake." That was a punch in the gut. Even the therapists, many that I would also call miracle workers, even they wanted to overlook his abilities. We have worked so hard on this and Caden LOVES reading. He knows when he gets the words right and gets such a proud look on his face. Sometimes he even gives himself a congratulatory pat on the chest. Because the Love and Learning books are such favorites of his, I usually have a couple tucked away in the diaper bag. I almost always use them to calm Caden during doctor visits. He begins and ends each day by reading books and runs to the door with his backpack when I ask if he wants to go to the library. I know it doesn't fit into the stereotype of child with mental retardation. But if these therapists didn't want to believe it, who else will give Caden a chance? Yes his IEP will include some basics like self-feeding skills and learning to jump. But it will also include building on his reading skills because nobody puts Caden in the corner! Not even Mommy on the cell phone.

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