So in the swirl of life, special needs, IEPs, and spring springing boing boing boing, we are discovering that among Andy's issues, the child can't see. His eyes do not converge to focus. We'll get to see what it looks like Monday (there is some confusion about whether it is THIS Monday or NEXT Monday, but it's coming), but in the meantime, its been explained to us that he basically can't see anything in a strip about 12 inches wide, six inches to either side of the middle. You know, where you would look to do things like read. Or write. Or, well, anything in front of you. He can't focus there.
We have no idea how he has trained himself to cope with this issue, but he has. After all, it is the way he has always seen, and people expected him to be able to read and write. So he learned to do it. As far as we can figure, he uses a lot of peripheral vision and approximating based on the blurry mess that is in front of him. No wonder he gets so frustrated with reading an writing, though! Apparently, he has gotten through so well because he is a clever little fellow.
The answer will be vision therapy, which will basically reprogram his brain and his eyes so that they work together and converge properly. After that, he will need to be completely retaught to read and write. The good news is that his frustration level will go down, so we should see some alleviation of attention deficits- then he can channel all his awesome energy levels into relearning these skills, and getting back to speed at school.
We now have his IEP in place. It was a little odd putting together the powerpoint, because it looked eerily like the one we made for kindergarden, when we were told all these issues did not require an IEP. Same issues. Just two years later, with a new label- "dysgraphia." You know, if they had listened to me two years ago, and looked into this properly, we wouldn't be needing services now. But that's now water escaped under the bridge, I can't take it back. Here we begin.