The conference was really interesting. Miss Toni's emphasis was all on the social aspects that we were actually most interested in. Academics will come. Jet absorbs information like rice takes to water, and I had no doubt he can do the intellectual things, it was always the social things I was most concerned about. Self-esteem, sharing, caring about other kids. And Miss Toni started by saying that Jet's been one of the delights of her day, and, as far as she was concerned, he was happy, caring, gentle, smart, had a great attention span, capable of sharing, self-assured, listening, and verbally very capable of telling people exactly what he needed. He was personally responsible for his own things, and very aware of the other kids.
She said that when one of his friends is hurt, he'll be there and put his arm around then, and comfort them. Or if someone's already there, he'll go get one of the teachers and tell them that someone is hurt.
Wow. Reminded me of when he was only 2 and helping that crying girl out with her shoe...
It was pretty astonishing to hear it from someone outside of the family, that that core part of Jet really showed up for her, too. She felt that he was really well adjusted socially.
She did go through the academic stuff, too, and Jet's shining at letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and all that stuff. She was very impressed that he not only built horizontally and vertically, but in all directions. "He's a 3-D builder. You've got an engineer on your hands." were her exact words. He could fit things together in any and all directions, so his judgment of shapes in 3D was better than she'd seen for a while in his age group. My.
She did like his ability to keep sequences in his head, and to know what was supposed to come next. He really likes knowing what to expect next at school. Their schedule is something he's really getting, now. He's developing, ahead of most of the other kids, a good sense that there are certain days are for certain things, some for school, some for home. I wonder if our strange schedule helps with that, and we've been working that pretty hard, ourselves, the last couple of weeks, but mostly because Jet's started to ask, "What day is today?" She enjoys his ability to tell stories. She said that he doesn't pretend to *be* someone or something else, but he's quite capable of doing make believe with his toys doing the talking and being who they "are". But his concrete sense of who he is doesn't really budge when it comes to pretending to be someone or something else. I'm not entirely sure if that's good or bad, it just is. Of course, on top of that, he tells stories about things happening to him that have never happened, but he's himself in the midst of those stories.
It was pretty amazing to go through half an hour of that with Jet's teacher and then have her ask if we had any goals for the next six months. She said he's pretty much ready for pre-school and well on his way to being ready to do kindergarten when it's time. He's got all the self-confidence and skills needed to already be pretty well received. The new school requirements have kindergartners reading and writing before they even get out, and Jet's on his way to being able to write and draw the exacting shapes of letters. He's got the whole alphabet conceptually (lmnop still sometimes being one letter...), and the place mat Isabel gave him has been a reason to practice, with us, quite a few evenings; and he's counting regularly because of his stamps earning him toys when he gets to ten or twenty (two tens!) depending on the cost of the toy and his patience level.
It was really reassuring, though, to know that he's doing really well socially. That's what it was all about, anyway. Plus with three days at the school in a row, he's getting a good dose of what each week is about, now, which he wasn't on just two days a week. So I'm now mildly glad of Joan getting the job she did, and Jet being able to really immerse himself. This morning he was singing about going to game school, which he hadn't for the longest time, with me at least. So Jet's really happy, and I'm really happy with how they value him for what he is. That's been really cool.