Thursday, February 4, 2016

Autism Answer: How Our Kids Are Doing In School Is Not How Our Kids Are Doing

REMINDER: Our children's grades do not tell us how our children are doing. They tell us how our children's grades are doing. 

Sure, they are worth chatting about with our rugrats but good grades do not equal doing good, or vice versa. 

Often I hear parents ask each other: "How are the kids doing?" And far too often I hear a quick response that is some version of: "Great! She's in honor roll this year." or "Awesome! He's finally getting his school work in on time and bringing up his grades." or "Struggling. Her teachers tell me that she doesn't really apply herself or do the work." 

My hope is that we parents will remember to pay attention to how our kids feel about school and what they're actually learning, but we'll easily know that how they are is not about grades. Their grades do tell us a story about our children, they give us an idea of what they struggle with and care about and what their motivators are. But the grades aren't about HOW they're doing. Sure, most of us kind of "get" that but we're losing our grip on how true it is. 

When we run into old friends at the grocery store and they ask: "How are the kids doing?" I hope we'll easily respond with some version of: "Great! She's really into this new idea she has about writing the story for a video game." or "Awesome! He's been telling me all about why he wants to build Eco friendly buildings in busy American cities." or "Struggling. She feels confident about her ideas most days but struggles to like herself. We'll get there though. School is helping, she has a great group of friends and a supportive counselor." 

Some of our children go to school, so ignoring their grades or teacher reports would be silly. But their grades do not tell us how they're doing. 

Our children do. 

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)