Friday, April 4, 2008

Dancing in the rain - backwards like everything else

Good morning! There is nothing quite like a nice warm rain to put a smile on the faces of my kiddos.
By now you may think that my children have some kind of weird fascination with changes in the weather. The last time you saw them jumping around in circles it was during the last snow. While I would never put some type of mental imbalance past my children (hereditary - not my fault), I honestly think this is one of the most wonderful things about the vision of the world through children's eyes. I am amazed whenever I get out of touch with it for a little while. It is that simple joy that just comes from living life. In this case, it was the first warm rain of the year. When was the last time you went and danced in the rain?

Yesterday we received Sydney's latest report card. I am happy to report that she has mastered nearly everything required of her kindergarten. I was both extremely pleased and a bit worried. Sydney is doing some things very well. Her math skills are really impressive. There is no doubt in my mind that the synapses are firing. She is adding and subtracting, telling time, counting money,identifying, sorting, and organizing by shapes, color, and size. She can establish patterns and compare by length, capacity and weight. She can count by 10s, 100s, 1000s, or even 1,000,000s and claims that she can count to infinity. She can even identify and model fractions. I tell you, she is a whiz. Now, what she can not do is write her numbers from 1 to 20. Isn't that odd? She can do all kinds of sophisticated (for a 6 year old) math computations correctly and gets them right 99% if the time. She can add two digit numbers. She can add a whole column of numbers together. What she can not do, however, is write the answer correctly. For example, if the answer is 3, she will get it right, however, then number will more than likely be backwards. Yes, nearly all of them and they seem to be backwards almost as often as they go forwards. Personally it drives me nuts and I don't know how to help her. I am also seeing the same pattern with her alphabet. In language as well she can do some incredible things but, once again, I will frequently catch her getting her bs and ds switched or making an s in reverse. It is odd to the point that I am wondering if we hit on one of the neurologic side effects of all of the chemo that she has been through. She has mastered such intense and difficult concepts yet she seems to get hung up on such a rudimentary task as actually writing the correct answer. I guess I can't say a whole lot. I work so fast I often skip right over whether I am using the appropriate there or their or even write or right. I am just in a rush and forget to check. Maybe Sydney's issues is actually less neurologic and maybe a bit more hereditary-logic. Regardless, we will continue to work but it does have me a bit worried.

Finally, on Monday Sydney begins another week of scans. It looks like we will need to be there so early that I probably won't have an opportunity to write. It will be a very tough day both for Sydney and ourselves. While I am hoping and praying for something will tell us that the spot on her arm is not neuroblastoma, I know that is probably unlikely to come from this scans. Unfortunately, I know it will just add to the worry. For now I am going to pray that the spot have improved. It is a long shot. But please, God, just don't let them spread.
It is my purpii.

5 comments:

ClarkFamily said...

Oh I am so excited you have a blog to update us 'weirdos' in space about your wonderful family! I am glad to hear Sydney's report card was wonderful; however, I wouldn't worry too much about the backwardness of her numbers and letters. My daughter is also 6 and in kindergarten and struggles with the same thing. She is tested at 1st grade math but can't write the numbers 3, 4 or 5 the correct way - not to mention lots of pictures she draws are for bab not dad so I would say no worries ... in fact my daughter's teacher said they don't worry about backwards writing unless is continues past 3rd grade! Well I hope you have a purposefull weekend dancing in the rain!

God BLess!

The Clark Family!

Vickie said...

Dungans,

I found (and love) your new blogspot! I also want to tell you that my son, who took AP calculus as a 10th grader, who is a math major at Rice university, who has a summer research fellowship at the medical school at the University of Pittsburg in bioinfomatics, and who will study at the Institute of Mathematics in Budapest, Hungary in the fall, wrote his numbers both illegibly and backwards in elementary school. There is some age cut off (I'm thinking fourth grade) where that habit starts worrying teachers, but before then they don't consider it a problem.

Like you, it drove me crazy, but in the end, I wasted valuable worry time that could have been spent on something else.

Also, with regard to your unclean purpose. We commonly had a twenty-five cent deal with the same son because he had so many food accidents on his shirt. If he made it through a meal without leaving a spot we would given him a quarter. He rarely earned the deal. Now we are proud to eat with him in public or private.

laulausmamma said...

I love the new blog Mark...and always enjoy seeing pictures of the kiddies.

I work for a behaviorial optometrist who does vision therapy. I wouldn't worry about the letters/numbers being reversed just yet...it's common at this age. I would recommend an eye exam (starting at 6mos of age for all kids...but especially before starting school) with an optometrist who works with lots of kids...they know best how to check that the eyes are working as a team, if the eyes are tracking and focusing correctly, etc.

I'll be thinking of your family next week as you await yet more results....waiting for results is always so hard.

Susan - mom to Katie...a 23year Neuroblastoma survivor

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Sydney on the good report card! I work with pre-k through 1st graders, and can honestly say that writing numbers and letters backwards at that age is absolutely nothing to be alarmed about. In fact, it seems to happen more often than not, and in the high achievers as well as low. If she is counting money already (one of the most frustrating things to teach!), reading, etc., you have nothing to worry about with some backwards characters. She is one smart cookie!

Gayle in AL

Skinny Again said...

Sydney, congrats on your report card. Please tell you Daddy that writing numbers backwards is NORMAL for a child your age. My little boy did the same thing. And, he did not have any of your medical situations. Tell your daddy that this is something that kids do. It works itself out, trust me. Writing b and d backwards is normal as well. My son had a saying to try and remember which way they go. I will try to remember to ask him what that was.