Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Too Much Homework

I enjoyed teaching Rooster to spell beautiful with the trick "be autistic, it's beautiful," but we had a new list yesterday and it included the word disorder. I called it out, he wrote it down, then he looked up at me and said, "disorder, like when you have Asperger's Syndrome or autism." Then he wrote: not in order. This time, my chest knocked a bit, and I needed a big yoga breath.

"Yes, when you have a disorder, you might learn things in your own order. Just like you learn lots of things differently than the way I do. You learn them! Sometimes you learn them sooner than I do, and sometimes you learn that later, but you certainly learn them in the order that's right for you!"

Today is IEP day. I feel so tempted to tell the school exactly how I'd define their IEP. When we got the notification last week, it looked different, and it said they were required to let us know that they would be requesting a change in eligibility, to emotionally disturbed. Naturally, I felt confused, and upset. With shaking hands I called the school, and I was told, "Really? Ooops, that was just a clerical error. We don't send our own forms any more, some secretary in another office does them and she makes mistakes." Sometimes I have an urge to tell my son he does not have a disorder, that everyone in the world has their own order to things, and sometimes it is all I can do to resist telling him it seems to me his educational system and his school are in disorder, while he is perfectly fine just the way he is. But I realize that saying this would not serve us well.

The class can move along to "disorder" if they must, We are just going to concentrate on beautiful.

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Beautiful Speller

Last night I called out spelling words to Rooster. He kept missing the same one every time: Beautiful. I said, that one is tricky, let's see if I can help you come up with a trick.

It starts with Be, right? Like, "To be, or not to be."

And see the "aut" part? That is the same way we spell autism, and you know how to spell that.

So here is the perfect way to remember: Think: Be autistic, it's beautiful.

He smiled, and he got it right.

First thing this morning I asked him to spell beautiful. He said: "B-E..."

He paused a long moment, cocked his head.


Long pause, and a smile.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Listen To The Story

Peaches is listening rather patiently as Rooster tells an involved tale of conflict and chaos in the car. All of a sudden she interrupts. "I don't get it she says." We have a long pause. Then, "The bad guys are trying to destroy the good guys. And the good guys are trying to destroy the bad guys? But if they are trying to destroy, aren't they bad guys? How can you be the good ones if you are trying to destroy?"

My child. She speaks truth. I think about this, about how I want to keep thinking about this, how I want to explore it more, wrestle with the ideas she is surfacing, and I think: I might need to start blogging again.

I have always been a selfish blogger, in what I think of as the "healthy selfish" sense of things. I have not really blogged FOR anyone else. For me, it's not about audience, except for myself as audience.

Blogging helps me process, and knowing I am blogging helps me listen.

I realize this was never a blog about autism. This is a blog about my family. Autism is a part of my family, and I am no longer sorry about that.

And I don't want to destroy the autism in my son! I love him exactly the way he is, just as I love Peaches the way she is, knowing autism has been an important part of both of their lives. Our lives.