The school year is well underway and Alex is doing very well. His behavior and attention in class have not been an issue, he is doing fairly well academically and on the surface is interacting with the other kids. I say on the surface because if you really examine what he is saying and doing, he is mingling, not fully interacting. He flinches every time a kid comes at him unexpectedly and continues to have difficulty with big groups of kids. He has also started some strange behaviors like washing his face at school and hiding in the bathroom when it is time to get on the bus, even though I have confirmed with Isaac (my 5th grader who is a patrol and very protective of Alex) that no bullying is occurring on the bus.
Still, it is more than I had hoped for. The area where he has actually improved the most is organized sports. I don't care so much about how he is doing with sports, but I will take improvement where ever and whenever it presents itself. He is playing soccer this fall, after a very difficult season of lacrosse where some bullying (as discussed in a previous blog) was evident. When the soccer season started, he was clueless. He knew what team he was on, which was an improvement in and of itself, but that's about all I could say for his soccer skills. However, his improvement has been dramatic. He is now scoring goals at games and at one game was the high-scorer. He feels a part of this team and gets along with the other kids. He really goes after the ball with gusto and his confidence has soared. Except for the fact that the coach does often need to tell him things more than once (since he often doesn't process things the first time), I don't think anyone would know there is something "wrong" with him. In fact, this is the first time he has been on a team that I haven't said anything to the coach about his difficulties. Now, I do notice differences between him and the other kids...he doesn't mix with the other kids as naturally as a neurotypical child would, he takes longer to understand drills and instructions from the coach, he sometimes loses interest and stares off into space or lays on the ground during practices, etc. However, he does not stick out. Other parents have noted how "cute" he is. They think he is funny. There is no bullying. He is accepted. It is a breath of fresh air.
He has already told me that next year he wants to play tackle football, probably the most unforgiving of all youth sports. Good Lord, what do I do??!!
Thoughts on Newtown
5 years ago