James is in a typical kindergarten class, and loves it. He tries hard to do what his classmates do. Sometimes he can, and sometimes he can't. Last week we got a kindergarten bulletin about valentines for Valentine's Day. James' teacher wanted the kids to make handmade valentines, and to make sure the kids themselves wrote the names.
Now, James has some pretty significant fine motor troubles. He's only very recently learned to open his scissors, though he's been able to close them for a while. One of his goals on his IEP (individual education plan) is to cut within an inch of the line when cutting out shapes by next December. Until kindergarten, where the coolness of and emphasis on writing first came together for James, he wouldn't hold any writing implement more than about a minute at a time, and that was only as long as I was singing "The Wheels on the Bus".
James cut out 22 hearts, within about 1/4" of the line. For each and every one he cut out, he carefully and deliberately opened the heart, sometimes with considerable difficulty. Then he celebrated, jumping up and down and showing us the heart, sometimes shouting "ta da!" He wrote the name of every single one of his classmates. He can write nine of the letters himself with no help, recognizably, and for the others he needs hand-over-hand help. He knows all his classmates' names, and can identify each one on a written list. He kept me very strictly to the list, and made sure we went in order. For one particular friend, he got so excited he skipped to him, and then went right back to the couple he'd jumped. Tonight, while I was grocery shopping, his dad helped him write his own name on most of the hearts with more help before he was too beat to go on. Tomorrow he'll pop stickers on early and take them to school.
I have never seen James work so hard on something that is so, so hard for him to do. For James' classmates--he loves you!
Picture coming. :)