Tuesday, November 13, 2007

3 Days Till Parent/Teacher Conferences

I was talking to Leo about math this morning, and I told him how great it is that he's good at math. That his life will be so much easier because he is so smart. He says, "You remember when I needed an aide? And now look, I am good at stuff." I said, "Yes Honey, it's pretty amazing isn't it? You needed extra help and worked very hard. And today you are advanced in many areas and don't need any help."

I was so taken back by this on so many levels. First, we NEVER used the word aide. We called them shadows, also a word we never used in front of him. And the one-to-one therapists were called teachers or tutors. He must relate to his peers at school that have aides. I asked if he talks about this at school, either with his teachers or peers. He said no, and I didn't ask why. Is he self-conscious? Over the years we've been very open and matter-of-fact about it, repeating the "everyone is different, everyone has stuff to work on" speech. If he said yes, I would want to know how it was received, how he explained things, and I'd assess the situation to see if he needed to know about the label of Autism. I don't know what else to add at this point.

On another topic....I told Leo that he needed to go shopping with Dad to buy new sneakers for school. His eyes lit up as he began describing exactly what he wanted. He's always been brand loyal (Sketchers recently, New Balance in a stimmy way when he was little). But today, he talked about shoes his friends wear, and described in great detail these basketball high-tops. Leo is now into fashion, what's cool. He came home with these:

We had Veterans day off, and I found myself at the mall using gift cards with the kids. I looked at Leo in amazement. Who is this kid in 5 1/2 size Adidas with a baseball cap on backwards? I mean really?


Artemisia said...

So very cool that he doesn't even know! We just brought the label up recently ourselves.

And the shoes! Isn't it awsome when their interests come straight from their peers, without passing through you or a therapist?

Ashley loves Leo said...

Pretty incredible, those interests. I am still stunned he can pick up on that stuff.

You HAVE to blog about the label conversation! I know I'm selfish, but it would be great to see how you addressed this and how he responded.

Maddy said...

Indeed we're just into the IEP and parent teacher conference nightmare. Yes everyone seems to be growing.

Ashley loves Leo said...

Hi Maddy! I seem to lose 5lbs in the week before. I look forward to them being over and sleeping finally.

Interestingly, my daughter's report card checked "Exercises Self Control" as a weakness. Just like her brother! I look forward to specifics. I see how it plays out at home - in processing - she can be forgetful and has no sense of time. And very disorganized. She has the same teacher Leo had for 1st grade. Should be telling!