We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

12 May 2008

More Help? More Paperwork!

I met with my son's teacher again on Friday and spent the weekend writing a letter to the council requesting a statement for my son, and also filling in more paperwork for the school to submit on his behalf. The behavioural support woman spoke to us about observing our son, she was dismayed at some of the things going on at the school. Music class for instance, is a particular bane to my son (and many other kids as well), and she told us that there are 60 kids in this weekly session (with an outside teacher), all sitting for the one hour lesson. They get to play an instrument (BORING triangle as my son says, whereas he'd rather have a bongo, but is not allowed?!) but otherwise the teaching is dull, uninspired and well, boring. For someone with my son's issues, this is like being in a torture chamber.

But I can respect where my son's teacher is coming from in that they have to work with the resources they have, and while they are trying to get more, its all about money, unfortunately. This doesn't necessarily account for creative strategies, but then, I'm not a teacher and I don't want to demand they 'think more outside the box' as I'm not sure how I'd handle a class like this.

In the meantime I'm still reading more and more and right now am enjoying John Elder Robison's memoir, Look Me in the Eye, My Life with Asperger's. From the Prologue he says:

Sixty years ago, the Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger wrote about children who were smart, with above average vocabulary, but who exhibited a number of behaviours common to people with autism, such as pronounced deficiencies in social and communication skills....

Aspergers is not a disease. Its a way of being. There is no cure, nor is there a need for one. There is however, a need for knowledge and adaptation on the part of Aspergian kids and their families and friends.

I have read this part to my son, as he is now starting to wonder what it means to have Asperger's or anything else for that matter, questioning why he's different and helping him to realise that 'normal' is really a myth, everyone is slightly different, unique in their own way. Despite taking medication to calm down a bit and concentrate more, this is something he was born with, and I suspect, while most of us spend a great deal of time searching for our path in life, his path is already pronounced in that it might be difficult but it could also be a wonderful surprise gift.

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