I haven’t seen many posts by people about their child’s report card. Well, guess what? Here’s one now. Yesterday, the little kindergartener got his second report card. Here’s a summary of how it all went down.
The grading system key is this:
4 = “Consistently above Standard”
3 = “Meeting Standard”
2 = “Making progress toward Standard”
1 = “Making minimum progress toward Standard”
x = “Not evaluated at this time.”
This is the same report card all the other students in his class received. And if I have not outright said it before, Toots is the only autistic in his class. Every other child in his class is neurotypical.
My son can read. We all know it. He’s been doing it for years. And so it shows on the report card – all 4s – “consistently above standard”. (Of course, I’m going to talk about the good stuff first. I’m his mommy!!) He received 4s for identifying his upper and lower case letters, vowel and consonant sounds, rhyming, discriminating between sounds and understanding “concepts of print” (left to right, spacing, word, top to bottom), and sequencing story events with pictures.
His writing standards all met standards except for his printing which improved from a 2 to a 3, consistent with what I have seen over this school year. In numbers (math) he met standards (3s) and exceeded standards (4s).
The lowest grade he received was a 2 – making progress toward standard. Here are the areas in which he got it:
Retells a story
Recites poems/chants/repetitive patterns (unless of his choosing I assume…)
Expresses ideas in front of a group
Communicates findings and observations
Demonstrates good sportsmanship
Actively participates in activities
Observes and compares
Follows oral directions
Uses appropriate listening skills.
There were 53 total categories.
Of those, he has trouble with the 9 above. Six of the 9 require communication skills. What a surprise, eh? Three more require attention skills. Again, surprise!
So, my ASD son is expected to “recite”, “retell” “express” and “communicate”, all socially, cognitive goals. What to do… Do I want a special accommodation, such as a “modified curriculum” for him in this regard? Do I want a “pass” due to his disability?
Maybe someday in the future, he will need an accommodation to further his education. At this point, with a full time tutor prompting him in class and working programs with him, that’s accommodation enough. We too, are learning. We are learning his learning style. We are learning where his weaknesses lie, in a neurotypical world.
In smoothing the ground to lay the foundation and framework for his educational future, I can see where there the hard ground lies. I wonder whether we can use hand tools or need C4 to dynamite through the obstacles. That will take time to figure out.
In getting this post ready, I read a post by one mom who felt that the data from her son’s second grade report card gave her very little to really judge his academic achievement. All she saw was that the school found some way of testing him that amplified his lack of attention or motivation to respond.
I think my son is lucky in a couple of ways. First, at least currently, my son is in a classroom of 14 children. The teachers (2 of them) know and understand him. They know where his strengths and weaknesses lie. They accurately report those, making his level of understanding and comprehension easy to see. The second is that the report card provides a rather obvious map of where his deficits lie, consistent with his diagnosis.
Yes, easy to spot, not so easy to improve. The clear path is toward ABA programs to target teaching these skills. And as has been recommended to me previously, but which I somehow let slide… is the ILAUGH Model of Social Cognition which you too, can find here. I can neither recommend it nor not recommend it yet. It just seems like a good idea. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I can report to you a final report to me, of the little guy moving toward improvement with social and attention related goals.
How about your child? Are report cards accurate for you? Do you ask for a modified curriculum as part of your IEP? Is your child’s performance gauged by NTs, individually, or some other way? And, if you homeschool, how do you monitor your child’s progress? I hope you will share in the comments. Don’t make me start another meme, people. You know I’ll do it…