Friday, September 15, 2006

Back to School Night

Student Driver has survived another day (as have the rest of us!). He did very well turning corners yesterday - damn hand-over-hand turning's ridiculous...too much to think about.

Anyway, among the other things we had to do, last night was Back to School Night for Girl and SmallBoy. We were late, of course, because it started at 6:30 (ok, 7 for veteran parents like us), and OT went til 7:15. We made it for the second session. It was nice because there were many less parents, and therefore, easier to get to spend more "quality time" with the teacher. We only got to Mrs. M., SmallBoy's teacher. We were running too late to get to see the Jr. High teachers also, but that's what conferences are for! Of course, the discussion was about the curriculum for the year, the expectations for the students, their increasing responsibilities as they prepare for the big change to the junior high, homework, tests, etc.....I'd forgotten what a HUGE leap 3rd to 4th grade is. I'm certain that with the wonderful experiences we've had with this school and an incredible staff who have taken the time to educate themselves in the ways of Asperger's, that we'll have another successful year, just with a LOT more homework.

That said, I have to share the comments that I heard from the parents last night - some in the classroom, some in the hall, others in passing in the lobby:

Mom #1: "Are you SmallBoy's mom? I'm K's mom. I have to tell you, that was such a wonderful book. It was great of you to bring some in for the kids and to talk to the class. What a lot of courage that must have taken for SmallBoy."

Me: "It truly is a wonderful book. I am so glad to hear that K enjoyed the talk. Thanks for your understanding. I'm glad that she shared it with you. I think it's so important for people to be educated about things they don't quite understand. And yes, SmallBoy is incredibly courageous. He's one of the bravest people I know. He knows how important it is to educate others about Asperger's and has no problem teaching about it."

Dad #1: "Hey, MG! What an AWESOME book that was! C brought it home from school and told her mom and sister all about it. J and C read it through twice, and then she read it to me again, when I got home. That's such a great thing you two are doing!"

Me: "Thanks, S. I'm so excited to hear the response from the classmates and families! SmallBoy enjoyed being able to talk to his class about Asperger's. It made him feel very important and it helped his self-esteem greatly! I'm glad to hear that C & J enjoyed the book too! The more people we educate, the better. He's a great boy!"

Mom #2: "Oh, MG! J brought home the book that you guys read in class! He said that SmallBoy told everyone all about it. We have a relative who is on the spectrum (I'm fairly certain she said Asperger's, but I'm not positive). Can I share this with them?"

Me: "Oh my Gosh! Of COURSE! That's what it's for. It's for helping those who are on the spectrum to explain to others, and for feeling better about themselves. It's about as simple as it can be for this age. Tell your relative to call me if there are any questions. I'm so glad that J enjoyed it! (This was the boy who had made the comment about how "shouldn't we not make fun of people anyway?" when we read the book to the class).

Mom #3: "MG. I have to tell you how much T enjoyed the book. He brought it home and told me what you guys did and how SmallBoy read it to the class and shared himself with them (at this point we're both crying) (BREATHE) and it was such a wonderful thing to do. I think it was so incredible and with a child with special needs of my own, this really struck a chord. He is such a strong and brave boy. You must be SO proud of him."

Me (after much crying and hugging and sniffling): "J, I am SOOOOOOOO glad that this could be of help to you guys ( I know her well and had NO clue that one of her children had ANY kind of needs). I AM very proud of my SmallBoy. He is making such HUGE strides because we've had such wonderful reception to what we talk about, and such love and support from the community. By talking to the class, it SO helped his self-esteem. It made him feel proud to be who he is, instead of ashamed. Let me know if I can be of help to YOU!"

Ok, I'm getting all teary eyed now, but I had to share those with you. There were so many more, too. I am so happy to know that just by sharing this with one classroom, that we have made SUCH an impact on so many lives. Marti & Child, again, I cannot thank you enough for sharing YOURSELVES and YOUR story with us. We are SO lucky to have you in our family!


Pseudo Supermum said...

What's the book? Publication details, please! Cello-Boy has a friend with newly-diagnosed Asperger's, and this sounds as though it could be informative for both of them. Very many thanks - glad I dropped into your website again today!

Lora said...

I would like to know what the book is too. Very touching conversation it made me teary eyed too.

mommyguilt said...

ladies, hop on my personal email - through my profile page, and we'll chat about the book. It's something that SmallBoy and I wrote based mostly on a book that Marti & Child wrote about Child, so that he could more easily explain all about himself and Asperger's to them.

We're not really thinking about publishing, sort of keeping it in the family, but we're more than happy to share SmallBoy's story.