I have some very cool news to share with you in the next week or so. Well, it’s exciting to me, but I’m jazzed when my socks match (I’m a cheap date).
I have a couple of things I need to complete (hint) and I am woefully behind on responding to comments, but am reading every one and have a backlog of emails in my inbox reminding me that I am going to respond to as many as I possibly can in the next few days.
I also am working with my son to prepare him for state standardized testing this next week. He is high-functioning autistic, but there is a little extra effort entailed as a result, especially as he is a home schooled kiddo this year. I brought him home last year when, for the fiftybillionthtime the school people begged me to get him on medication (and for the fiftybillionthtime I told them heck no). I knew he didn’t need medication, but wasn’t sure why. ADD is a very easy diagnosis to make, and it’s easy to assume that those ‘hand puppets’ or those rocking motions are meant to aggravate overworked and underpaid teachers (in fact, they are coping mechanisms). A friend saw my frustration and told me she thought my son could be autistic (she was thinking Asperger’s–her son is also high-functioning autism). In November, a team of experts tested him, and he is high-functioning. In was literally so happy, I was in tears. He was in tears. Finally! An answer!
That should be a shout out for parents to never back down and to be your own advocate!
Having a diagnosis doesn’t make things easier, but it does help us to understand how to work together smarter as a team. And while he looks forward to going back to school next year, my job this year has been to instill in him a sense of pride for a job well done, and personal responsibility in completing tasks.
Of course, when I told some folks about the diagnosis in the school, I was told, “Yeah, I thought it might be that.” My mental response won’t be published here because it’s too early for incredibly caustic jibes. I’m sure the look on my face spoke volumes. Thanks… a lot.
I don’t know what life holds for him beyond high school, but he has made me proud this year. It’s not easy being a teenager and not knowing why you can’t tie your shoes, or write legibly. When changes are taking place in your body and you still can’t catch a ball, and you obsess about World War II while other kids are talking about American Idol, you’re not fitting in with your peers.
Still, remarkably, it is a testament to the kids at school that he is very well liked despite his differences. He has everyone rolling during talent shows, and is a very capable actor. He’s a ham to the nth (as you can see by the picture in “Easter for your Keister”), and even when he is making jokes that make no sense to me (I’m just average) that he thinks are hilarious, I smile and hug him and tell him that he’s awesome.
We laugh about the Hessians being invaded during the Revolutionary War because the commander played cards while his aides tried to warn him about the onslaught ensuing (“Go Fish, Der Commandant!“). We both cringe at story problems when there is more than one step involved (we’d rather theorize why Mr. Barker needs to cut a board into a piece that’s 7/9 of 18”).
He is a fine young man. A wise person beyond his years, and a caring individual with a lot of promise and big visions. Now I wish he’d pick up his socks.