Very few things make a special needs parent prouder then being told good things that their child has successfully done or even attempted to do. I was lucky enough to get a surprise message from Mr. L’s teacher last week and I’m so excited to share his triumph here on my blog!
Last week my autistic son went with his neurotypical classmates to their school library and he picked out a book he liked, ok loved. In fact he loved this book so much and found so much amusement from it that he asked his mainstream teacher if he could read it to the class… And she said yes!
However the experience doesn’t stop there. Not only did he get up and read this new book to his class, but his peers were engaged listeners and also enjoyed his reading to them! I was told that it was such a successful learning moment for everyone, that his mainstream teacher is hoping he will do it again this week!
For those unfamiliar with some of these terms:
- Autism- a neurological brain disorder characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication.
- Neurotypical- people who do not have a diagnosis or other intellectual or developmental difference.
- Mainstream- typical, conventional, or dominant trend.
- Echolalia- a speech pattern of repeated noises and phrases that a person hears. A person with this may have struggles to express their own thoughts.
If you knew Mr. L two years ago, you would know that his main form of communication was mostly Echolalia. Which makes this jump in progress even more amazing. Social interaction doesn’t come naturally to this kiddo, and sharing his interests have been more of a recent thing.
For awhile now my first born has been able to explain his intense interests through his art, pointing things to others and echoing things he heard. Some of these subjects he gets fixated on for months include; the planets, produce, farm equipment and his current favorite- Godzilla. But for him to find a book he liked and then to ask to share his new found enjoyment is just amazing.
And then for him to stand in front of his peers and successfully read to them and to positively entertain them was just the best surprise. This kid ceases to amaze us. It will be interesting to see if he shares again with his class this week or if this was a one time show.