Friday, November 8, 2013

Generosity – Highlights From Parent-Teacher Conference

We had our parent-teacher conference at my son’s school last night.

Kai’s teacher gave us a nice overview of his academic progress; he continues to struggle mightily with writing, especially, but, not surprisingly, continues to do very well in math.

This year they are teaching math to Kai using three different methods: a textbook three days a week, and two different online programs the other days. We are already familiar with one of the online programs as we have him do Kahn Academy at home.

The other program is called Dreambox, and the teacher explained that all of the kids like it because the program awards points that can be traded in for game time. While all of the kids like the program, she said that Kai was the only one to stand up and cheer when she announced that they would now be able to do it at home as well.

We thought it was cute that our son was cheering that he got an opportunity to do more math.

Though, later, after we got home, we had Kai show us what he is working on in Dreambox. He showed us the avatars you can select and the games you can play and it all looked quite fun.

Unfortunately, the program doesn’t let you select your own level; you have to start from the beginning and work your way up. And so, on Dreambox, Kai is doing math that he mastered two, three or maybe even four years ago. And since he is a kid who loves to do easy work and has to be pushed to challenge himself, he loves this way-too-easy math program.

I emailed the teacher and asked that they limit use of the program to break time or only as a reward.

But I digress. Back to the conference we had at school…

Kai’s teacher shared a story about a recent class project. Each student had to write compliments about each of their classmates.

She said that Kai thought long and hard about each one. He praised one student for achieving a Level change. He complimented another for doing well at PE. The teacher said that every compliment was very appropriate for that child and very well thought out.

Kids with autism often have a very hard time relating to another person’s perspective. So for Kai to be so thoughtful with his compliments was quite an achievement. His teacher was nearly tearing up as she explained what a great job he did.

She went on to say that because he did such a great job, she awarded him with a Generosity card. Generosity is one of the school’s Circle of Courage values along with Belonging, Mastery, and Independence. Students who show special adherence to any one of the values have a card with their name on it posted on the Circle of Courage board in the school’s common area.

When she honored Kai with the Generosity card, he spoke up.

“But Ms. F____, everyone should get one because we all wrote compliments for each other.”

And with that, Kai showed his generous spirit even more.


  1. Two things:

    1) Kai is growing up.

    2) You are helping him get there, and are you enjoying his journey.

    He will continue to mature. Life will just continue to get better.

    1. I am very encouraged about Kai's progress. That last anecdote was particularly great to hear. That he did well on a writing assignment is encouraging. But also, that he was paying attention to others and what they had done was very nice indeed,

  2. Wow...that is all just great! You should just feel wonderful about the progress and his sensitive spirit. Yay!

    1. I hope he stays this sweet even as he gets older. It will be interesting to see.


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