When Genea started first grade, things were much improved. So much, that I wondered if I should even talk to the teacher at all! But then I thought, well, I might be a little overconfident here. I might be seeing things through my Mom- eyes instead of reality- eyes. I decided to send the teacher an email and then I decided to share it here. It is always a struggle for me to decide what I should tell anyone about Genea's background. If it
is anyone elses business or not. But I guess I think of teachers in the same way as doctors, they need to know it all. Or at least most of it, in order to do their job. So here is the email.
Dear Ms S,
When we met the other day I mentioned I wanted to tell you a few things about Genea and did not want to do it in front of her, or all the other parents. Genea comes from Ukraine. She was adopted from an orphanage there when she was 15 months old by another family. She had a lot of medical and emotional needs that the other family was unable to handle, so they terminated their parental rights and my family adopted her 2 years ago. Obviously all this caused her huge trauma, and we are just now at a point where she has begun to recover. So I just wanted to let you know that bit of background. Genea might have reactions that seem strange, or disproportionate to the situations. She struggles with social skills, though that has improved. Mrs. E thought it would be important for you to know that she has a hard time concentrating and gets distracted very, very easily. I don't remember exactly what Mrs. E used, I am sure you could ask her, but she would separate Genea and try to minimize the distractions in order that Genea could get her work done. Although it looks like she has a raging case of ADHD, it is actually something called "hypervigilance". She constantly monitors her environment for changes, sounds, people, and activity.
Genea is a smart child and she is helpful and considerate. She is a loving, wonderful girl, and is trying so, so hard to overcome her challenges. She adores school and for the most part will appear just like all the other kids. She has some sensory involvement, you might notice if you touch her arm she will rub it when you look away. Her speech pattern is a continued concern for me and if you could direct me to who I might bring those issues up with I would appreciate it. After classes get going that is, I am positive you are heinously busy right now!Anyway, if you have any questions or are interested in more information, please feel free to let me know. Thank you so much.
As it turned out for kindergarten there could not have been a better teacher. She loved her job and all the kids. She was gentle and loving and enthusiastic. Structured and scheduled. She knew how to ease transitions, teach to all the different learning styles and how to be firm. Brilliant! I want Teena to have her to!