I’ve probably already bragged about this, but for those who don’t know, my oldest son has always struggled academically. He was diagnosed with ADD in the 4th grade and 1 year ago this May, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (aka Asperbgers, which they’re not allowed to mention anymore in neurology circles).
I want to pause here and say that I dislike the term “diagnosed.” My son is not sick. He doesn’t have a ‘problem,’ ‘issue,’ or ‘excuse for being lazy.’ He learns differently, that is all. He has to study harder and takes longer to get things completed. He gets distracted easily, and therefore spends an immense amount of energy learning tricks that help him refocus, stay on task and this cannot be done without the help of myself and his teachers. I have to stay on him regularly, because any lapse on my part could potentially result in 10 missing assignments in the span of 1 week.
But I am not at school with him, I simply need to remind him. I am not holding his hand everywhere he goes. My son is high- functioning and he’s 14, he doesn’t need the embarrassment of having mom attached to his hip. So, the fact that he ended the school year with all passing grades and 2 awards is cause for celebration and bragging rights for both him and me – because, for the most part, my son got those achievements on his own. I may remind my son and e-mail his teachers, but he made the choice to get all of his work done and make these necessary improvements.
His first award was for the “Most Improved Student in Science” and the second was for “Improving his Math Maps Score more than 10 points.”
I know that these are not the most prestigious awards that were handed out to all of the 8th graders at his school this year, but in our little bubble of a world, these 2 awards are proof to my son, that he can do anything he puts his mind to no matter what he’s been ‘diagnosed’ with. That ASD and ADD are not impairments, they are challenges and he is in charge of his own success. He is capable, smart, generous, thoughtful and I am so proud of every new hurdle he conquers!
I am so VERY proud of you!!