Pre-K Third Quarter Report Cards

Nicholas and Noah have done great in pre-k so far this year. They recently got their third quarter report cards. Pre-K kids get grades of 1-4. 1 means they do not demonstrate understanding, 2 means they require teacher support to demonstrate the skill, 3 means they occasionally demonstrate the skill independently, and 4 means they have mastered the skill independently.

Nicholas got a mix of 2s and 3s in self-awareness. The stuff he got 2s in are all related to his ADHD (which we are having trouble finding the right medication for) like waiting his turn, self-regulating, and following through on tasks. He’s doing pretty well with things like hygiene and taking pride in his accomplishments. He got all 2s in self-management (again, all related to ADHD; things like showing flexibility with changes in routine and remaining engaged during play for 20 minutes). In social awareness he got a 2 for accepting another child’s way of doing things and 3s for everything else. In relationship skills he got 2s in things like interacting positively with peers and adults and 3s in things like verbally communicating for different purposes. He got 2s in responsible decision making for things like following classroom and school rules with occasional reminders and a 3 for showing curiosity and trying new approaches. He identified all 26 upper and lowercase letters and knows 25 letter sounds. His stage of writing is letter-like forms or mock letters. He got 2s in everything for emergent literacy (things like blending words from syllables, rhyming, and writing his name legibly). He can rote count to 30 (as high as they were asked to). In emergent math he got a 2 for recognizing patterns and 3s for everything else which includes things like knowing shapes, one to one correspondence, and recognizing numerals. He also got 3s for using sensory language and participating in art and music experiences.

In self-awareness, Noah got 3s for waiting his turn, hygiene, self-regulation, and showing initiative. He got 2s for using feeling words and initiating problem-solving strategies. He got 4s for coordination and balance, small-muscle control, taking initiative, and taking pride in his accomplishments. In self-management he got a 1 for 2- and 3-step directions and a 2 for remaining engaged in group activities for 15 minutes. He got 3s for most things including transitioning without getting upset and using a visual schedule. He got 4s for taking pride in his classroom jobs and remaining engaged in play for 20 minutes. He got all 4s in social awareness. He got all 4s and a 3 (verbally communicating) in relationship skills. He got all 3s and a 4 (showing curiosity and trying new approaches) in responsible decision making. He clearly wasn’t interested in being tested the day they evaluated him because he only recognized 20 uppercase and 15 lowercase letters (he knows all of them), gave the sounds for only 3 letters (he knows almost all of them) and only counted to 10 (he can count to nearly 100). In emergent literacy he got a 4 for intentionally using marks to represent words and then telling what he means and engaging in pre-reading activities. He got 1s in everything else (which of course is age appropriate since he’s a year younger than the pre-k curriculum is designed for. He is in the stage of writing where he makes letter-like forms or mock letters. In emergent math he got 2s for understanding position words and recognizing patterns and 4s for naming common shapes, one-to-one correspondence up to ten items, and recognizing the numerals 0 through 9. He got 4s for using sensory language and participating in art and music experiences in the classroom.

All the Neurodivergents

We have so many neurodivergent people in this family. Out of 13 of us:

  • 31% have been diagnosed with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia
  • 8% have been diagnosed with autism
  • 46% have been diagnosed with ADHD
  • 15% have other diagnosed learning disabilities
  • I suspect 62% actually have ADHD

I told the developmental pediatrician when one was diagnosed with autism and yet another with ADHD that I have a pretty high tolerance for crazy and he said honestly I’d have to. It’s just perfect chaos we’ve got going on here.

Sleepy Meds

The first ADHD medicine they gave Nicholas had bad side effects so they switched him to a different one. This one made him super sleepy the first few days. The first morning he took it he fell asleep in the van, fell asleep waiting for the doctor, and in the van on the way to school. His teacher said she had to walk him back and forth a bit at school to keep him awake, too.

Vanderbilts for Adrian

At home we can always tell if Adrian remembered to take his Ritalin or not. And we weren’t sure just how well it was working, especially with a lot of missing assignments popping up at school. So his doctor asked us to have some of his teacher fill out the Vanderbilts so we can see how they think school is really going.

He chose to give it to his physics, computer science, and AP Human Geography teachers. That’s first period, last period, and somewhere in the middle of the day. Looking at what they marked, he is actually doing great in school. The medication is working and his ADHD is well controlled. That’s very good to know.

All of them noted his written expression is an issue, but that’s expected as he has dysgraphia. His physics teacher wrote in the comments that he’s very capable and while he does get distracted with devices he always gets his work in in the end.


When you have a more spirited child like Nicholas, one that has lots of trouble keeping his hands to himself, you worry a bit about him making friends. Especially if he’s super outgoing like Nicholas.

It turns out Nicholas has made a very best friend in another one of the pre-k classes at his school. The boys call each other “my brother.” They play together at recess and PE every day.

They got together at a trampoline park and were absolutely joined at the hip and so happy to be together. It’s such a relief to know that even with how much Nicholas is he’s making friends.

Some days are just crazier than others

And yesterday was one of those days!

At 7:20 Jamie and Fritz left for the testing location for Fritz’s English II End of Course exam (insert rant about how stupid standardized tests are and how annoyed I am that they spent the last two months preparing for this stupid high stakes must pass in order to graduate from high school test).

At 8:30 Jamie took Nicholas and Joel upstairs when Noah’s ECI therapist got here. Noah has a tendency to let the other two boys do everything for him so we need to keep them separated during those visits. Noah did amazing this time. He spent the entire 45 minutes happily playing with playdough and parroted some words and even said a few things spontaneously.

At 9:45 Adrian texted asking if he took his Ritalin (answer: no, his father forgot to put it out for him). He said he really needed it (something about shooting the ceiling… no idea) so I headed to his school to give it to him and then immediately went to the elementary school to pick up Anthony.

At 10:15 Fritz let us know he was done with his end of course. This meant he needed to be picked up but I had The Beast at the elementary school and Jamie couldn’t leave the twinplets. So he texted Cameron (who happens to live near the testing location) and he was so kind as to drop everything and pick Fritz up and even got him Sonic on the way home.

Meanwhile, I picked Anthony up at 10:20 and we sat in The Beast in the school parking lot and did his med check with his psychiatrist right there in the van. We’re adding a fast acting ADHD medication dose after lunch for him. Medication is making SUCH a difference for him and hopefully that’ll take care of the afternoon impulsiveness and behavior issues. Mornings have been excellent and learning is finally happening.

Of course adding the after lunch dose means paperwork and so when I took Anthony back into school at 11, I went to the clinic (my second school nurse’s office of the day since that’s where medication must be given even when administered by the parent) and got the form for the psychiatrist to fill out. While I was in there Mayci saw me through the window so she popped in to ask if I could take her Fiesta Parade float home with me (of course) and as I left Zeke was lining up with his class outside the cafeteria so I ended up seeing all three of my elementary schoolers this morning.

I got home and by 11:15 I had filled out and scanned the medication administration form and emailed it to the psychiatrist to sign. Right after I sent that, they emailed me the thing to sign that tells about possible side effects of the medicine so I got that signed and emailed back (she doesn’t send any new medications to the pharmacy until that’s been signed).

Side Note: Tiny Scanner is the best app… I got it to turn papers we filled out into pdfs way back when we were applying to be foster parents and I still use it quite regularly.

So all of that happened before noon after which we had a bit of a break from all the crazy, though it was a busy evening, too. Right after school Zeke had his weekly ballet/tap class. After dinner, we got the kids ready for bed and everybody except Fritz got in The Beast to take Adrian to his 8th grade dance. Fritz had seminary at church at the same time, but he always walks so that was no different for him.

Still Making Us Laugh Sometimes

Adrian saw the pediatrician for an ADHD med check last week. As soon as we got in the exam room he heaved himself up on the exam table (proclaiming that he really likes laying on the “check-up table”). He then passed the time waiting for the provider by singing the Doc McStuffins theme song (can you tell he has little siblings?).

After she listened to his heart and lungs he asked if he could listen, too. She seemed a little surprised someone his age would request to do that and quite amused at how much pleasure it gave him to listen to his own heart and lungs. She then asked if he wanted a sticker. He started to say no, but then he said that yes, he really would like one so she brought him an Aladdin one and a Lion King one (which he immediately stuck to his shirt – it fell off at some point during school so he came home wearing the Aladdin one).

She told him you only get to be a kid once so keep being a kid as long as he can. And keep making us laugh. It’s always good to make people laugh.

Summer Adderall

The last couple years we only gave Adrian Adderall during the summer on Sundays and days he went to taekwondo. This summer we’ve decided to give it to him most days and it’s making such a difference. It helps him control himself and so he feels better and it makes life just generally more pleasant for everyone. It’s really quite amazing what a difference Adderall makes for him.

This is what ADHD looks like

Last Friday, Adrian pretty much only had math to do in school so I decided to skip giving him his Adderall (he usually only takes it on school and church days). This was a mistake.


It took him an hour and a half to complete his math. Both sides looked like this. While he got almost all the answers correct, it was pretty miserable for him.

This is how all his worksheets ended up when he was in kindergarten. Adrian started taking medication for his ADHD when he was 7. Before he did, it took him 1-2 hours to complete his math and he could barely read a page in a book at a time and he’d have little clue what he read. On Adderall, he was suddenly able to complete a page of math in 10-15 minutes and could read a whole chapter and be able to answer questions about what he read.

Obviously, the Adderall is working very well for him. Even though math was miserable last week, sometimes it’s good to be reminded of that and to see just how hard it is for him to concentrate without medication.