Thought I might take a few moments to bring you up-to-date on how life is treating Matthew.
As a 15 year old young man, I suspect you can imagine how life it treating him. LOL. Most days, it sucks! There is often something to complain about, someone to argue with and some issue causing him grief. Sounds like we are right about on track to where we should be, I’d say. 😉 The teen years are certainly in full swing and often with them brings a confused adolescent attempting to gain his independence, yet not quite ready to let go of the “little boy” world he has experienced for so many years. I remember it all to well, as I eluded to in a previous post. I don’t think there are too many teens today who skate through those years without at least a couple of little bumps and bruises, and really, who would want that? Some of the greatest lessons in life are learned through bumps and bruises. It’s how we respond to the bumps that help shape our understanding of our world and allow us to make future decisions based on what we have learned.
There are some of these lessons that Matt has difficulty comprehending. As you have read previously, Matt has a hard time “getting” certain things, but socially over the years he has come a long way. Sarcasm, which was a real issue for him when he was younger is no longer an issue. I sincerely thank The Big Bang Theory for that :). Sheldon Cooper has been able to teach my son (along with so many others) how to “get” things in a way that no textbook or teacher could ever explain. He makes learning social idiosyncrasies “funny” and allows his fans to indirectly learn from his experiences. It is so much less embarrassing for Matthew to sit and watch Sheldon work his way through social “norms” and by doing so in a “story-setting”, the lesson being taught tends to stick with him. Matthew has often recalled a “Sheldon Moment” when he finds himself in awkward (for him) situations and where he might get uptight a few years ago, now he is able to make light of or connect better with the situation based on seeing a certain episode of the show. Finally! A huge breakthrough in the social scene of things.
School has presented it’s share of challenges this year, unfortunately. Matthew was pretty much flying solo in his grade 8 year as compared to the previous 5 years where he benefited from having a full time TA with him. In his Learning Centre there are 2 TA’s, however their time is distributed among several students requiring assistance. Many of the accommodations Matthew requires fell to the way-side causing him much frustration on various levels. Although he has been able to keep it together most days at school he has unloaded a lot of that frustration at home. This has caused a lot of friction in our home and made an already trying school year even more stressful for all of us. Academically he hasn’t seen a lot of advancement although his marks have been very good. The program that he was following this year didn’t seem to meet his needs and we are now working to ensure next year sees much more success for him. On a positive academic note, Matthew’s reading level has increased by leaps and bounds! After reading his first novel at the beginning of the school year, he asked us to buy him more books for Christmas. This was absolute music to our ears! We found a series of books (The Warriors) about cats and each series has 6 books. He is currently on the 3rd series and spend endless hours with his grandmother, each of them taking turns reading aloud. It’s been wonderful to see and hear how much his reading has advanced just in the last 6 months. A remarkable achievement considering his learning disability and reading disorder. 🙂 Right now our only concern is getting him through the next 20-some days to the end of the school year and forgetting about grade 8. Grade 9 will see a change for the better, a new attitude, a fresh start and hopefully much academic success. There’s not much that we can do to salvage this year but there is a lot we can plan for to ensure he doesn’t walk the same roads next year.
Here’s hoping for a good summer ~ I know it’s going to be a busy one as Team Hilliard embarks on a new challenge and faces situations and events new to all of us. A little scary, but we’ve never been one to let the unknown stop us before. Stay tuned. 🙂
Until next time…