Tuesday, April 24, 2018

When "above-average" makes your day.

Actually, it made my week, month, year... life.

Confession: I've always thought of Ryan, academically speaking, as entirely average. I've never had dreams of him applying to Ivy League. In fact, in my mind, he could easily do two years at a community college and then see where he'd like to go from there. 

Perhaps I started seeing him that way when, at two, he wasn't speaking and needed speech therapy. Then roll that into a first grade year that saw more downs than ups. 

Even with his struggles in first grade, he scored quite high on PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening). I underestimated the meaning of this high score. 

At the end of first grade they did a whole range of testing on him to determine if he had a learning disability. All those tests determined he was average to above average in every single area. 

Okay, no learning disability. "Why is he struggling then??" That was our question. The answer was ADD. He has trouble concentrating for long periods of time. That definitely reconciled with what we were experiencing at home.

Fast forward to second grade. As mentioned on previous blogs, it's been a whole new world for him. 

In second grade, the students take the CogAT test (Cognitive Abilities Test - designed to test academic aptitude) and, knowing this, I hoped Ryan would score in the average range. Yes, I'd be happy with average. 

The test results came last week with his report card (report card was all kinds of YAY, too!) and, that son of mine, he scored pretty high. To put the scores in perspective, his lowest score (percentage wise) was 81% meaning 81% of students his age who take this test scored lower than him. His highest score was 91% meaning 91% of students his age who take this test score lower than him. Across the nation!

Wait, what?
That was my thought. I read and re-read the results to make sure I understood correctly. Then googled just to make sure.

In black and white on the page "All three of his scores are in the above-average range. Students with above-average reasoning scores learn relatively quickly".

Hold on, Ryan is the sweet and sensitive one. Hannah is the sassy smarty pants.

And, that's the problem right there. I have been putting my own kids in boxes.
While Ryan is sweet and sensitive, that's not all he is. 

Even though test after test told me he was quite smart, I somehow was looking past it.

I'm not sure why the CogAT was the one that made me stand up and take notice and see Ryan in a different way but, I'm glad it did. 

I am on a high right now with this. But, it will pass because, it has to. It doesn't change our day-to-day lives in regards to schoolwork. We still have so much work to do and always will. The ADD will always be something we'll have to work through. And, that's not always easy. 

With all this being said, I'm most proud of this:
"Ryan comes into the classroom everyday with a smile ready to learn. He is very diligent in his work and is a wonderful friend to all in the class."
His Resource Teacher had this to say:
"Ryan is extremely kind and respectful. Ryan helps others in the classroom and cares about others feelings. If another student doesn't have a partner for an activity, Ryan always offers to help them to make everyone feel included". 

It's nice to have a smart kid. Great in fact!
But, having a decent human being feels even better. 

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