< Upheaval: A mother's look

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A mother's look

On Monday afternoons, I have the pleasure of teaching a really sweet kid who just needs a little extra help. Like a lot of autistic kids, he struggles with understanding emotions, building relationships and effectively communicating.

We work on all of those things, and he has gotten so much better over the year that I have known him.

Yesterday, he was reading me a story, which I know is a very frustrating activity for him.

We sat on the floor, and the story started out smoothly. He got to a word that stumped him, and he thrust the book at me: "You read it!" he said.

I told him that I wanted to hear him read.

His lip stuck out and he furrowed his brow. "No! I have getting so MAD AT YOU!"

"That's okay. I will wait for you to calm down. Do you need help with that word?"

"NO! You blockhead! I am want YOU to read!" (Verbal abuse is an added bonus to my profession, and he obviously likes Charlie Brown.)

"Hmmm... how about I read this page, and then you read?"

"Okay," he said, happy again.

When it came to his turn, he bugged his eyes out and tightened his throat: "I say NO! I am going to tell my mama and YOU GO HOME!" he shouted.

I saw his mom peek around the corner at us. She raised an eyebrow, and I winked to let her know that I had a handle on it. She slipped back around the corner, but not soon enough.

My little friend caught a glimpse of her, and stopped mid-shout. He said, "I mean, NEVERMIND! Come here, you!" and gave me a big kiss on the cheek. "You wanna animem cookie?"

Uh, I think he understood HER emotions pretty well, quickly surmised their relationship, and followed up with great communication. Lesson learned.


Blogger Missy said...

That's kind of amazing.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Jennboree said...

WOW. So do autistic kids have trouble with their own emotions and communication but can pick up on others'?

3:12 PM  

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