Sometimes it helps to write it down (so I can see how far behind I am)
Today's a finite-time day anyway. After dropping Scott at school I return home and have about 2 hours before I need to go over to Connor's school to help out his classroom teacher and in the library. Then back over to Scott's school I go to help Billy for 2 hours. Since this is the first week that I've not been staying with Scott in the classroom maybe I'll have a chance to assess for myself if he's maintaining a trajectory without my direct support, or if he's starting to drift. I'll get home with him around 3:30, try to get some homework done with him and his vision therapy exercises before I can head off to see Sharon. I look forward to that very much.
In the remaining time I have is a strong desire to give a much closer listen to the Petraeus/Crocker report before the senate committees yesterday; it appears the testimony before the house committees today isn't receiving the same direct coverage. I should read the transcripts and download the analysis to listen to. However, that's behind in line to an interview I'm listening to of Hans Blix supporting his new book about nuclear disarmament. There is also an interview that sounds fascinating with a woman who was diagnosed with very severe bipolar disease at the age of 24 and what she has learned to sustain herself. (These interviews are on a program called the Diane Rehm Show--highly recommended.) Even more pressing is a discussion about American strategy in Iraq in light of yesterday's testimony, an overview of progress in Iraq and the more strident alarms being raised about Iran's influence. I feel anxious when I fall behind in this material, because that's when I feel vulnerable to the opinion-manipulators. There's a page on National Public Radio that seems like it would provide the basic information I'm seeking, but it's looking daunting to wade through. Finally, it's very important to me to listen to an interview with Douglas Feith who has written a book about the Pentagon and its role in leading up to the Iraq war and I'm sure he addresses the issue of the faulty intelligence and his office's hand in that. I'm curious about whether I'm going to find a credible argument, or spin.
Still waiting in the wings is the Vanity Fair article ("The Green Light") on the role of top level government, military, and justice officials in sanctioning US torture of detainees (Feith had an influence on that too), the Esquire article on Admiral O'Fallon, and Frontline's "Bush's War".
Yesterday afternoon I met with the special ed team at Scott's school to establish his new IEP there for speech and occupational therapy. His articulation goals are largely met, but there's a nagging issue of some possibility of a language processing dysfunction hanging out there that causes us to hesitate in closing out special ed altogether. His attention and ability to focus were recurrent themes under concerns. In some ways I wonder if this is a maturity issue, because my observations of him tell me he's not engaging in what's going on in the instructional sense unless someone is right there spoon-feeding it to him. I was heartened to hear that academically he's actually doing pretty well, grade level. But he reminds me of younger children who are like fish-with-bicycles with information that they don't have the conceptual base to process. You can explain long division to a three year old until you're blue in the face and they're going to only get restless and possibly misbehave if you persist. It's not that Scott is dismissing information as irrelevant; it's that it doesn't even have a doorway in to register as being significant. At 6, maybe it's time to be concerned that these doors aren't opening yet. However, I saw the same pattern in Connor, and he definitely matured to the place where these doors were accessible. I actually am reminded of myself too, and it's like scales had to fall from my eyes before information meant anything to me. Or perhaps I had to develop more discriminatory vision to distinguish what was meaningful and what wasn't. I've had a hard time explaining this without sounding like an over-protective mother, or a mother who wants to avoid an ADD diagnosis. We discussed pursuing that line of inquiry, to see if there is a medical process interfering with his ability to attend. I hesitantly consented to proceeding to the next level of evaluation, to see if that is a diagnosis that's warranted. I don't know why I feel cautious--surely this isn't like giving someone a medication without knowing for sure if the condition makes it appropriate? I think I feel a kind of fear that further evaluation will lead to a diagnosis that further maturity will make irrelevant, and then will that have an adverse effect? It makes sense to go ahead and get the evaluation done to see if he does have needs, wait through the summer to see if his development may play a factor, and then put an action plan into effect if maturity isn't the main issue? I need to understand my reluctance better, and I don't think dismissing it as 'denial' is helpful.
Now I've gone and written through my shower time. Time to get ready to leave for Connor's school.