This week for family night we talked about the miracles of Jesus and watched some short clips from the church of miracles that Christ performed while on the earth. When we were finished talking, we had the kids draw their favorite miracle. Harvey scribbled and when he finished I asked him what his drawing was and he said, “Jesus made dinosaurs.” So I used the scribble lines already on the paper and traced them to make a picture of a dinosaur. This week in Come Follow Me we’ve studied many of the miracles of Christ. It discusses in some instances that “virtue left him” as he performed greater miracles. I have come to understand that while virtue is a way of being through our thoughts and actions, that it too has a tangible power that comes with living your life in that way. I felt it very strongly on my mission where my life was focused and 100% dedicated to Christ. I can still dedicate my life to Christ by my daily choices, but it is sometimes harder to put aside frivolous things when. you get emotionally and physically drained taking care of kids all day– which I believe is the number one thing I do for Christ and His purpose.
Our family witnessed a miracle this past week. Max had a speech delay which inevitably led to a reading delay. His school has a great program where they teach a class focused on decoding. Max was in this program for two and a half years when they graduated him back to the regular classroom. He struggled, but passed his reading class with a B last year. This year he has had a lot of anxiety in class and at home because his teacher has assessments every other day. We spend at least an hour every afternoon going over the upcoming quiz or helping him with homework or extra practice. When I met with his teacher back in the fall I told her I wasn’t getting a lot of the information she was sending home and she was kind of defensive and blamed it on Max. “I have it written on the board, I remind them, etc etc.” I realized she felt I was attacking her, when I too knew that there was something going on with Max where he just wasn’t catching all that was being said. I knew this, because I struggle with it too, so it didn’t surprise me that my kid would as well. I told her that we’d work with him (she mentioned consequences, but I knew he was trying and just was not ABLE to focus as his peers did). It too him longer to complete assignments, homework, tests, etc. So two weeks ago as we were studying with him the morning before a test, he started panicking. He missed the bus and had to breathe in a bag to calm down. Andy said he was having an actual panic attack and I knew that we needed to change something. That afternoon he started panicking again about an in class assignment that was due tomorrow, but he was sure he wouldn’t get it done in time. I had texted his teacher that morning about the panic attack and again that afternoon about his break down and said, “We need to meet.” Again she went on the defense telling me all she was doing and how other kids were all accomplishing the assignments in the given time. As Max’s mother I felt hurt. Clearly he wasn’t performing as his peers and I wanted at teacher who would understand that above all, in fourth grade, his emotional well being is far more important than whether he can get an assignment done in the allotted time or maybe perhaps she could be flexible and give him some extra time. She did bend a little that afternoon and said, though he wasn’t supposed to work on it outside of class, she would allow it this once. The next week I met with her (and brought Andy with me, mostly for emotional support). I brought the ADHD form from Vanderbilt and asked her to fill it out before our appointment that Friday. She said she would allow accommodations IF he was tested positive for ADHD and got a 504. That upset me because it was clear he needed extra help even if he didn’t have ADHD. I don’t know if this was a district policy or her own policy, but I’ll give her the benefit of doubt and hope it was from higher up. As a former teacher, I spent hours making accommodations and using tactics of differentiation to adjust my teaching for my students. I felt it was my role as their teacher to teach in a way that THEY would understand, not just what worked for me.
Anyway, Friday came and she sent the form with Max. Andy wasn’t even sure it would help, because they probably used a different form at Eisenhower. But here’s the miracles I saw: 1) it was the exact form they needed 2) the doctor had ADHD himself as well as his children and knew the signs right away 3) he got Max on a small dose of medicine right away. 4) the Medicine started working. In my years of teaching I never saw someone get help for focus THAT quickly. It took months. To get doctors appointments, all the right forms, etc. And we managed to get it done in a week. Andy, Max, and I had fasted that month for Max to get help with reading. I truly believe in the power of fasting and this was just another example of it truly working. Max’s teacher wrote on Friday: “I have seen more concentration this week, but not to the point that Max seems like a different kid. It seems he is staying on task, and still had his Max inquisitive personality.” I was so excited to hear the instant change. Max truly is bright and I knew just a little help with focus would change things dramatically for him in class. He got 100% on both quizzes he took on Friday.