If you see a whole thing - it seems that it's always beautiful. Planets, lives... But up close a world's all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life's a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. - Ursula K. LeGuin

Monday, October 27, 2008

Angel Update

Angel is feeling down. He is working hard at both school and extra-curricula activities (the good kind). He is putting school first, extra-curricula responsibilities second and hanging out/socializing/beer third. He is making friends, fitting in, and maturing. However he is still having academic difficulties. Angel is learning disabled (hate the term but it is what's used). It takes him a lot more effort to get something done than most of his classmates and, while his effort pays off, it is never to the degree that satisfies him.

Reading takes him a very long time. Writing is a mixed bag. He has a vivid imagination and a poetic sense but horrible grammar and atrocious spelling. His grasp of concepts and ability to analyze is outstanding. His ability to write about what he understands succinctly and clearly is another story. His spatial skills are very limited and math is always a challenge.

He's passing his classes and learning a lot. His writing is improving but improving your writing takes a long time for anyone. I try to tell him this but he is still disappointed in himself. I tell him that I'm proud of him and I am. I think he is proud of his effort but not of the outcome.

Part of me is happy he is so hard on himself. Most kids with Angel's disability would have given up on school years ago. He enjoys college and it is the first time in his life that he has ever enjoyed school. I have always been amazed that he didn't just give up and act out. I'm not saying he tried this hard all the time but he did try hard in spite of very little encouragement.

But part of me wishes he didn't take each grade so hard. Part of me wishes he could see the progress he is making and be satisfied. Part of me wishes it could be easier on him. However life isn't easy and he is resilient and really that is better in the long run.


life_of_a_fool said...

I love the posts in which you talk about Angel and b; there's so much love and affection in them, it's really touching. And good on Angel for his progress so far this year!

k8 said...

I dislike the term too, but it's what we have to work with. Since I have my own learning difference issues, I can empathize. It sounds like he is doing well. Is he making use of the college's disabilities office? The services really can make a difference plus he can talk to people who have experience dealing with these issues in the college environment.

One thing that I know can help in these situations is taking a lighter course load (like the lower-end of full-time). It might take a little longer to graduate, but it can make the experience more tenable. As you probably know, some learning disabilities can be accompanied by perfectionism - it's a particularly pernicious combination, as I know all too well. That's another area people in the disabilities office might be able to provide assistance.

But really, he should be very proud of his accomplishments.

#1Deb said...

And that part of you is mom. Your encouraging him in all the right ways Brig. He will come through this, with you coaching and/or cheerleading. Whichever you need to do.
Your love for Angel is so clear in your posts about him. You are lucky to have each other.

Julie said...

I agree...I love your Angel posts. He sounds like a wonderful guy. He is very mature, too, which is a big plus. Maybe he'll be able to appreciate his progress after some time passes. I know you're so proud of him!! And I think Mom plays a big part in what a wonderful person he is:)