We are back in school this year as a first grader and I gave the teacher a couple of weeks to settle in before I went in to chat with her. Since we aren’t homeschooling any more I really need this feedback from someone who deals with him all day long. Not to mention she sees him with all his other peers where I would expect his deficits to stand out more.
So I asked her how she felt he was doing? She just looked at me with a puzzled expression and said he is doing great.
ME: “Ok, so what I mean is on a scale of 1-10 how do you think he is doing socially?”
TEACHER: “He is doing very well he plays with the other kids and enjoys recess and when he chooses to so an activity on his own like read a book he is fine if another student joins him and he returns to the group just like any other student would.”
(Obviously she is not understanding I want to know about his deficits, so I try again)
ME: “That is great. But if you had to assign a number to the kids. and 1 is say this child doesn’t belong in a regular classroom and 10 is perfectly neuro-typical indistinguishable from his peers., and fits in the class exactly as he should Where would my son fit?”
TEACHER: “Well, I would say he is maybe a little more mature than the other children in the classroom. We will know more after they finish the testing on Tuesday, but they might talk to about the possibility of moving him up a grade.”
(Now I am the one with the puzzled look on my face)
ME: “Well, we did hold him back a year to give him the best chance at catching up socially.”
(but I am thick headed and I came here for a deficit darn it and I am determined to get one)
ME AGAIN: “I know my son has a little bit of an odd word choice and some precocious language. I am not really looking for something I need to change, but just something to watch to see how he is progressing. Can you come up with any kind of behavior or thing that he does that kind of makes him stand out from the other kids a bit. Something that perhaps could be watched and measured for progress?”
TEACHER: “Well, I don’t know, I wouldn’t exactly call it a deficit. In fact it is endearing, but when he gets very happy and excited he kind of jumps up in his chair and squeals with joy. It is just a moment and it makes the rest of the class happy and laugh and it is contagious. I really wouldn’t want to see it go away, but is that what you are looking for?”
We finished our conversation with some small talk and she said she would watch him a little closer and if she happened to notice anything she’d make a note of it for me. I thanked her and assured her that she needn’t go out of her way, but I would be very appreciative of any feedback she had good or bad.
So the question remains. Where oh where did this elusive Autism gene go? I mean my son didn’t regress he was born Autistic. For all intents and purposes he still should be. Could he really have been cured of Autism. I mean sure, we have always hoped. We did biomed and chelated (still chelate) in the hopes that it would get rid of the Autism. But did I ever really believe it?
No, I am still waiting for it to leap out and bite us in the butt.
I think I have a tiny glimpse into the world of PTSD. I am still holding my breath and I am still watching and analyzing, and picking up on every possible deficit. I do this silently to myself (I would not do it in front of my child) because I can’t really imagine that we may see a day without supplements and weekly rounds.
I been eating, drinking, sleeping , and dreaming Autism for so many years. It is hard to imagine a life without it. and I have been secretly afraid to actually think it would ever really be gone.
Maybe I can actually let myself hope?