Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Right on Track

For practically Brother's entire life, I have always had to worry about whether or not he was "on track."

When he was a baby I had to worry about him being on track for eating the appropriate foods, rolling over, crawling, playing with his feet, playing with toys the right way, crying when he needed something.

At toddler age I had to worry about him being on track with walking, talking, bending his legs right when he ran or walked, catching himself with his hands in front of him, signing what he couldn't say (which was everything) and being able to follow simple instructions.

Once he got to school it was all the worry of him being on track as compared to all the mainstream kids... I think that's where I tried to stop keeping track of everything.

It was too depressing and depriving to constantly compare him to his "normal" peers knowing that he would most likely always be a step or 20 behind...

But, with every IEP meeting there is the reminders of whether or not he is on the "right track." His IEP meeting includes goals like, "interacting with peers by asking appropriate questions," "multiplying multi-digit numbers, " and "Continue progress in reading." I'm pretty sure there are not a lot of parents out there who have to worry about their 14-year-olds doing these things. In fact I would bet that the goal for some kids would be more like, "interacting with peers without being inappropriate." Tee hee!

His next IEP is coming up this Friday and I am excited to hear what awesome goals they have in mind for Brother and to hear the praise of what he is doing well. Trust me, though, I do have to hear all the stuff he doesn't do at all, doesn't do well, or shouldn't do. I think that's where I've gotten tough-skinned. You just have to learn to take the good with the bad and sometimes you need to hold onto the good so you can get through the bad.

It makes me wonder when I hear stories about parents explaining their horrifying and belittling experience of an IEP meeting for their children. It makes me wonder if I am a lazy parent, a neglectful parent, a naive parent, too laid back in my expectations or if I just have always been so lucky to have great educators on our children's side... I think I'll just enjoy it while it seems to be good and try not to over think it.

But there is one track that I know Brother is right on!

Junior High Special Needs Track Team!


He's doing it again this year and he has had one meet so far. I went and took a few crumby pictures to share!

There he is the really little guy in the back with the green shirt on—
he's warming up by walking the track before the meet begins.

Here is part of his team and coaches getting stretched out for the big meet!

This was my favorite moment of the warm-up... tee hee! Just made me laugh...

Here comes Brother down the lane to take off for his first long jump.

Here's a pic just before his last "big" jump... let's just say it's fun to go support his effort (wink)

 This is where I wish I had a picture to show you, but I decided to take video instead. This was the 100 meter that he ran with all the special needs kids from both school's teams. He did so well! He was in first place till about half way when he got so excited to wave at everybody cheering for him. Me included. He was so proud! When he was done he told me he got first place. I tried to let him down easy that I didn't think it was he who got first, but he insisted. Then when his coach informed him that he got 4th place he turned to me and stated, "Oh. I got 4th. ... I think I was first."

This is Brother with his Special Needs Class teacher. She came just to support her students.
He was so proud to have her there. Mrs. S works magic with these kids and I think the magic is working with Brother.
He loves her, I think, more than me sometimes... and that's OK.

Mrs. S giving the "low down" on how to throw a shot-put

Brother's turn is coming up...

OK, so running is definitely Brother's strong point in Track. I think that with the low muscle tone,
loose connective tissue and hyper-flexible joints the long jump is not his forté. When it comes to the shot-put...
well, do you think those Kermit-the-Frog arms would be able to throw 6 pounds very far?
Let's just say I couldn't be prouder of him for doing it and getting it past his shadow this year! Yay!
It's all how you look at life.

If you want to stay in the rut along the sidelines of the track and whine about how hard it is to run, let the led shot-put weigh you down to nothingness, or run and then stop because you are to scared to jump, you can do that.


You can get on the track and run your hardest while many others cheer you on, step up to the sand pit to throw a led ball that may only fly 4 feet and you can run and jump with all you've got and know that in all of it, you did your best!

That, my friends, is where Brother is, "Right on Track."

Run hard and live life to the fullest!

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