If you're not in the mood for a little parental bragging, you can skip this post.
We had our first parent-teacher conference for kindergarten. Covered a lot of ground in our half hour or so, both the good and the bad. But the gist was that none of the bad is so bad as to require immediate attention or raise red flags. And much of the good is very good. (I will skip for the time being the fact that we discovered--from the special ed teacher who handles Scooter's case, not from Mr. Teacher--that Scooter has in fact qualified for speech therapy, but they had decided against getting him into it at this point, more because they have other kids to deal with than because Scooter doesn't need it.)
What the conference told us is that Scooter's teacher and the classroom assistant have a good sense of who he is and appreciate the strengths that are part of his differences. Scooter is effective at problem solving and approaches problems differently than his classmates--but his ideas work. He has also already passed the goal point for the entire year in reading, is far and away the strongest reader they have. Even better, Mr. Teacher remarked that Scooter is different than many of the early readers they have, in that he seems to really enjoy reading and does not have the air of one who has been overly drilled. (Hooray, we seem to have balanced challenging him while not being too pushy.) I love that a large portion of the kindergarten reading curriculum is very individualized: students work through a series of progressive readers with the teacher.
Trillian and I were amused that when handwriting came up, it was clear that the fine motor skills still need work, but nothing was said about upper vs lower case--which the preschool teacher had gone on and on about with us. And while this is Scooter's weakest "academic" area, Mr. Teacher is not too worried since (a) so many young boys take a while on handwriting, (b) Scooter's handwriting is not the worst in the class, (c) he can write the letters he wants to, even if they're not gorgeous, and (d) he's already using his writing to communicate his own ideas.
Mr. Teacher said that the only way he imagines that Scooter will not meet all of the kindergarten benchmarks by the end of the year is if something is never introduced to the class. We were never worried that Scooter would struggle with the academics, but it sure is nice to know just how well it is going.