Monday, January 17, 2005

The Seasons Roll by

That first year helped me out a lot. I still had up and down days, but I continued therapy and my Dr. kept working with my meds. Andy's first grade teacher had suspected he had aspergers in first grade, but the psychologist disagreed, so that was that at least for a while.

One day I got called about a paper he wrote with sentences for Spelling. Despite the disclaimer on the top that "none of these are true except for 2 and 8" they felt that the rest were a cause for concern. They were about killing and dying, which he still told me were not true and he sure didn't seem depressed, but I had to take him to the archdiocese mental health center.

After a confirmed diagnosis of Aspergers and ADHD, he began play therapy and learned how to lose gracefully etc. The spelling sentences as he said were of no concern. The kids at school were great with him. His logical mind said that since goalie was the only position in soccar he was good at, it would be counterproductive for him to "take turns" and play other positions. They went along with this like it was standard practice.

His odd behaviors were never made fun of and the teachers helped make sure he had all of his materials and assignments before he left for the day. At times he would ask me to give "my talk" explaining Aspergers to the class. I never got any resistance from the teachers. We even got a book to use. Yes he had an occasional melt down, but they developed ways to help him get through them quickly.

Katie was also given the same diagnosis as was I. It explained a lot to me. She was now in first Grade with the teacher who suspected the syndrome in both kids and she took it all in stride. In any other class Katie would be seen as a smart mouth brat, especially when she corrected the teachers mistakes. She always felt she was doing them a service for which this teacher thanked her. Her corrections were seldom if ever wrong. Her need to move and fidget were incorporated into her daily routine with no formal plan needed. Her teacher saw what she needed and provided for it. This is not to say, she got away with misbehaving. She got more than her share of demerits and even had detention once. Her learning needs though were taken into account as long as they were necessary for her enrichment.

At the beginning of the year, I asked to continue volunteering. I was met with just a bit of resistance. It had to be OK'd with the principal first. Had my classes been the subject of some concern? She did OK it, but in retrospect, I think she hoped I hadn't asked. She was not good with confrontations and would have agreed just to avoid one. There was no introduction at the parents meeting this year though.

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