Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Slow Turning: Winning over Dyspraxia

After worrying so much this past year about Big B's academic progress, we've begun to see some big breakthroughs.

There's absolutely no doubt about his intelligence. He's a very bright kid. It's simply a matter of working around his dyspraxia and its effects on his ability to perceive and recreate phonemic sequences. It's all just a little harder for him to do.

Just like everything in life has been, is, and will continue to be just a little more difficult for him because of the way his brain processes information. It takes just a few seconds longer for information to hit its mark while traveling from brain to body and those seconds make all the difference in being able to read 35 words in a minute versus 75. And those 40 words make all the difference in how a teacher perceives a child.

He is still reading slowly. Painfully slow sometimes. But he's reading. And I am thrilled by this.

Last night we sat and he read to me the first three pages of The Cat in the Hat and the only two words he asked me to help him with were nothing and could.

I'm very proud of how far he has come in terms of his attitude and his belief in himself. I'm beginning to see that he is proud of his efforts and realizes that he is accomplishing something in learning to read.

I also have to keep reminding myself that these standards of expecting children to read in Kindergarten are really abnormal standards and that technically he's actually almost right on track.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shine: God's Love is Brighter than Hate

My friend Sarah is an Episcopal priest at a parish in Chicago. I link to her blog the caffeinated priest in my sidebar.

Last weekend she and many of her parishoners marched in Chicago's Pride parade along with congregants and ministers from 22 other churches. Sadly, I'm going to guess there weren't many Roman Catholic parishes participating.

Here's an excerpt from her post, but I urge you to stop by her blog and check out the full post:

For me, it was a powerful experience. I missed the step off (and took the picture above) but jumped in the parade a bit later. What amazed me most, standing on the sidelines and watching, was the sheer increase in volume that happened when the church groups walked by. The joyful and exuberant crowd took their jubilee to a whole new level. Cheering, yelling thank you. In the midst of floats with barely dressed men, drag queens and beer adverts (there were a lot of beer floats), the church groups stand out. And I think it's a visible witness that God's love is there for all, not only for the few.

I think she provides an insightful and moving account of her experience and what a testament to God's love each of us can be.