Widgets Magazine

Nov 6, 2011

Dog Walker - All Grown Up

The Dog Walker left for California with the Marching Band on November 1. That meant he got to spend his 18th birthday with his friends at Disneyland! Last Friday was his birthday, but we decided to write about him today since he is one of my best blog followers and he didn’t want to miss it.

I’ve written so many posts about him that I’m not sure what I can share with you that hasn’t already been said. I wrote the Autism posts last spring, so if you want to read about his diagnosis, check here. I’ve also done his birth story. And I know you all have read about his amazing scout accomplishments... again, and again…and again.

Have I ever told you that he is an amazing student? He was in transferred from Diagnostic Kindergarten to a Cluster class when he was in first grade. That meant that the kids ranged in age from first through third grade. The second cluster class was for 4th through 6th. When he was getting ready for 6th grade, we sat down for his IEP and his teacher told us that she thought he could get ready for more mainstreaming so that we could move him out of clusters and into a regular middle school schedule. This was a huge step for him and it required working with the hardest 6th grade teacher in his elementary school. He had several subjects below grade level and he would have to make huge improvements before we could consider this change.

That began the hardest school year we had ever faced! His teacher was relentless and the homework took the Dog Walker and I about three hours each night with reading on top of that. It was a brutal schedule and it took me away from the rest of the kids. There were many nights of tantrums and tears because the workload was so tough. But he survived the year and was pleasantly surprised to find that 7th grade was much easier! He still had some resource classes, but things like band and PE were entirely mainstreamed. He worked hard to keep good grades and now as a senior, he has a 3.9 GPA.

He has many friends thanks to football and basketball. He loves scouts! He is generous with his time, talents, and possessions. When he gets a treat, he usually brings it home so that he can share it with his siblings. Do you know anybody who can cut a donut 12 ways? He is amazingly helpful! He runs my laundry up and down the stairs and he is always willing to hold Baby Doll for me. (She has missed him so much this week!)

He loves music and often has his MP3 player hanging from his ear. He also loves to dance. He took a social dance class in middle school and now he looks for chances to dance. He participated in the Swan Lake ballet this year for South Pointe ballet and he did Coppelia the year before. He enjoys twirling those little ballerinas around.

Now that Marching Band is over, he is looking forward to getting a job. He has his own dog-walking business that he developed for a merit badge. He has been doing that for almost a year and it has been excellent for him. Happy Birthday, Dog Walker! Love you tons!

Look at all these fun pics Teach found! Enjoy!

The result of Teach saying, "Let's take a tree picture."

Happy birthday, Dog Walker!


Marci said...

I thought of the Dog Walker on his birthday! How lucky that he got to spend it at Disney! What fun!

Dog-Walker said...

You could have told everyone how I like to play Just Dance since you were talking about how I like to dance.

Anonymous said...

Happy Be-Lated Birthday!

GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

Happy Birthday Dog Walker.... I love Just Dance too :)

Emma Frances said...

How fun! What a wonderful son you have!! :)

Natalie Ockey said...

I love that picture of Dog Walker with the fishing pole! It is so cute!


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