Friday, November 21, 2008

My Joyful Heart

My son is 14 years old. When I overhear other parents discussing the tribulations of having a teen, I can only beam with pride. Like his mama, Man-cub is content being a solo artist. Much of that has to do with him being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome when he was in 2nd grade. He's social enough to satisfy his need for communication. Should he encounter another kid who is into Yu-Gi-OH! trading cards and games, he'll relish the moment and beg for a rousing card duel. Otherwise, video games and his love of cartoons is all he needs.
Due to having Asperger's, he has struggled with school. He's never failed a subject, but he requires extra attention and focus to complete the daily work. If it's a writing assignment, he flounders because it requires so much focus to keep his mind on the subject matter. His teachers tell me when it comes to oral essays he is brilliant. His mind and body work in unison. When it's a written essay, the thoughts become jumbled and deviate by the time it reaches the tip of the pencil. As a result, his answers are short.
The last time he managed to be on the honor roll was 4th grade. He is now in 8th grade. Although his grades in the past few years have been acceptable and I've been mighty proud, he has maintained them well enough to be on the HONOR ROLL.
Last week I picked up the mail and, in my box, was a letter sized envelope with a return address from his school. I sat in the car with the Man-cub in the passenger seat. I showed him the envelope and asked, "Will there be any surprises in here?" With that he shot me an unknowing look.
I peeled back the flap and slipped the single page from the envelope. With one eye opened I spied the contents. My jaw dropped. As a child of two parents who struggled desperately to get passing grades in mathematics, I am in awe that we produced a child who, without effort receives a B+. With the exception of one C+ in Language Arts (lots of writing required), he is all A's and B's.
Tears. Tears. Tears.
His face fell when the tears streamed down my cheeks, "Mom, I'm sorry."
"No... these are tears of pride! You are so awesome!"
Without me sitting and helping him each night to complete his homework assignments and without resource class, he has achieved grades I only dreamed of earning. He's become responsible for his grades. He has gained more control over his own mind. He's harnessed the energy. He's become focused. Without medication and only relying upon behavior modification, he is finally reaping the rewards of his efforts.
His unique qualities and the manner in which he sees the world hasn't been stifled. His teachers have embraced his quirks and managed to guide him to a higher level of education.
Two days after receiving his phenomenal report card, he was going through his back-pack. Oh, this is for you. He tosses a bumper sticker my way that reads "(his school name) HONOR STUDENT"
Yep. More tears of joy. My son rocks.

11 comments:

  1. Solo Artist... Force of One (and not in a Chuck Norris way) is A GOOD THING! Your Little/Big Man-Cub sounds as delightful as his momma.

    CAT

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  2. This was delightful!
    Congrats, Man Cub!!
    Congrats, Proud Momma!

    As for written essays, since he's so good orally, have you ever thought about having him use a tape recorder and transcribing his studies? Just an idea. What do I know about kids?

    XOXO

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  3. Yes, your son most assuredly does ROCK! He sounds like a cool guy. I learned to play Yu Gi Oh when my son was into it, about two years ago. Tell him that I play a dragon deck (badly) and my son plays spellcaster, burn and elemental heroes decks(much better than me. (BTW, this is Sherrie but it's posting under my son's name as I don't want to screw up his login since we forgot the password!)

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  5. Fantastic! Congratulations to your man-cub and his very proud Momma. Awesome post and I love the new look of your blog!

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  6. You should be proud! Congrats Man-cub!

    And I like the new look;)

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  7. That's pretty spiffy stuff, MissRiss.

    As parents, we all wish the best for our kids. And we have the right to beam about it when they do well.

    A true joy.

    Congratulation to you and Man-cub.

    ............ Rupe

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  8. I've never met him, but my tears are joining yours as I feel how proud of him you are.

    You write:
    "He's become responsible for his grades. He has gained more control over his own mind. He's harnessed the energy. He's become focused. Without medication and only relying upon behavior modification, he is finally reaping the rewards of his efforts.
    His unique qualities and the manner in which he sees the world hasn't been stifled. His teachers have embraced his quirks and managed to guide him to a higher level of education."

    I love this. I love this. I love this.

    Congrats to him, and congrats to you for your continued encouragement and belief in him :)

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  9. Yay, Man-Cub.......Aspies rule !!!

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  10. Congratulations!!! I didn't know he had Asperger's, and I'm so glad to hear he's so focused and doing so well.

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