I took today off in order to meet with Mancub's IEP (Individualized Education Program) team. This is where we discuss his accomplishments and also determine if and what services, special accommodations need to be made for the following school year. He's done exceedingly well. In fact, it's almost embarrassing to hear all the praise for my son. He has had his trials and tribulations in dealing with classmates, but for the most part he has held his own.
Mancub's social worker and the school district psychologist were present. I was asked a series of questions and invited to address any concerns I have about his transition from 8th grade to 9th. He'll be in a new school. The bonus is that his junior high school and high school are identical building design. He'll benefit greatly in not having to learn a new landscape.
There is little concern over his academics. In her quest for insight, the psychologist gave Mancub various tests for reading, math, comprehension and language arts. In this skills survey was a section about future plans. Mancub informed her that he wants to attend college and hopes to either be a comedian or a video game designer. She laughed and stated that with his personality she can completely see him on a stage entertaining the masses. His other teachers have commented that at appropriate times he will utilize accents and various other voices. He's always polite and keeps a sense of humor about himself. One outwardly notable item the psychologist brought to my attention was that upon being asked a question that he had no answer for, Mancub would look down; think about it and reply, "Nope. Sorry. I got nothin'" To which the psychologist had to fight back laughter as it would be unprofessional (in her mind) and possibly considered inappropriate. She said in all her years of dealing with students she has never had a child reply in such a manner. She found it utterly refreshing that he didn't attempt to fumble his way with an insincere retort.
I spent over 45 minutes receiving accolades about my son. He was showered with praise and support. In return, I expressed my gratitude for the school staff's exceptional abilities and desire to learn more about children with Asperger's Syndrome rather than just shuffling him through the system.
But wait! There's more.
Tonight was Mancub's 8th Grade Banquet. It was for students who maintained at least 80 of their 100 merit points. They were served dinner and dessert. Dining was immediately followed with an awards ceremony and dance. Mancub said he danced to the "Cha Cha Slide" -- I wish I had video of that!!
I sat in my car anxiously awaiting his emergence from the school. Before you ask, NO, I didn't wait outside the school for the duration of the event. I dropped him off; went home and returned at a reasonable time. When I saw him walking out with a big smile on his face, he was carrying a few items. All students were given a bag of candy and an autograph graduation dog. He got in the car and put on his seatbelt. Under the bag of candy and stuffed dog I noticed a frame and certificate.
"Hey, what's that?" I asked.
"Oh, it's an award that I was given. Pretty cool, huh? They even gave me a frame for it," he grinned.
When I read what it was for my eyes welled up with tears. I took a deep breath that was followed by a deep sigh. Attempting to hold back sobbing was nearly impossible. I swallowed hard as he noticed the first tear was rolling down my cheek.
"You're proud of me, huh?"
The certificate reads:
This certificate is awarded to:
By your peers for being the
By your peers for being the
There's other information but that's the important stuff. He was voted by his classmates as MOST OUTGOING.
The little boy who lacked in social skills and had issues acclimating to new situations was voted as being the kid with oodles of personality. Proud doesn't begin to fully express how I'm feeling at this moment.
I gotta go. I need to find a fresh box of tissues.