Saturday, September 11, 2010


Zavier is attending a charter school for Kindergarten. The set-up is simple: the parent provides input on the curriculum, the school orders it, and the work is done at home. There is one day/week of charter school, and since they are all typical kids with no developmental issues, we are sending an aide with Zavier to help with focus and attention. I am so excited that our county offers this option. This will allow Zavier to continue with his other therapies, and thus continue to improve, without becoming exhausted (his mito issues result in sporadic, varying amts of energy. He's the opposite of hyper).

Yesterday, we met with his education coordinator to discuss the materials and order them. I explained that he does better when the pages are simple, with minimal directions and minimal verbal instruction. Some kids prefer MTV-like chaos photo collage materials; Zavier prefers the opposite. He doesn't like to draw or color, so while I can encourage him to do those things, the fine motor activity makes him tired. So I requested they keep that type of lesson (ie: make the child draw several pictures, then have him color it, then have him cut it, then create a mobile...just to show the sequence of a story...) to a minimum. After a while, I could tell that he was looking at Zavier with a bit of skepticism, pondering what he could do.

So I politely stood up and went over to the bookshelf, and randomly selected a book. I handed it to Zavier.

Me: "Zavier, please read this book."
Zavier: "No. Pway phone." (He was in the middle of playing with YouTube on my iPhone).
Me: "First read book. Then play phone."
Zavier: Sighed, then reached for the book, and read it.

It was around a 4th grade level, and he read for about 2 minutes. The man nodded, expressed enthusiasm and praise, shook his head slightly stunned, and then said: "Wow. Ok, I guess he can read a little better than C-A-T. That's great. Did he just read the word 'interrupted'? That's quite a word. I think he did. Wow. Ok then..."

With autism, sometimes all we have are moments. It was a really beautiful moment, and I was really proud of him.