Sunday, September 6, 2009

a little eden

Here's our story of progress. A year ago, if Martin heard a song on a CD or DVD, he would learn the tune but could not pick up the words. He would sing garbled syllables that sounded like the song, but if you paid attention you would realize that he didn't know what he was saying. Today, Martin used his stuffed penguins to act out the "Sister Suffragette" scene from Mary Poppins. He sang all the words right. No gibberish. A year ago, Martin was only beginning to answer "yes" or "no" questions. Tonight, when someone asked him who was the 30th president, he promptly answered, "Calvin Coolidge." Last year, Martin couldn't tell us what he wanted, whether it was food or hugs or toys. A few minutes ago, he told us he wanted to ride his tricycle to the White House to see Barack H. Obama.

Since I have lived with Martin through this process of remarkable progress, it is hard to imagine that he might have to have a tutor accompany him to school again. I know he needed one last year. His tutor was vital to his learning the routine, interacting with other children. The tutor's work meant that the teachers could concentrate on kids other than Martin. But he's come so far. SO FAR. And tomorrow we must go to a meeting where we'll discuss Martin's future at school. Even though he's had a rough first two weeks, I know he can do it. It will just take a little patience and time.

While my husband and I are at this meeting, Martin will be blissfully ignorant of everything going on. He'll be at my daughter's babysitter's house. The sitter lives outside Apple Creek, which is as quaint as it sounds. They have a swing set, a sandbox, a garden, and lots of space to run around. For as long as I'm able, I want to keep Martin aloof from the world's discussions about accommodating autism or not. In fact, I wish I could withdraw from these conversations as well. Maybe I'll spend the meeting daydreaming about swings and gardens. Perhaps I'll think about running around with Martin on a late summer day, trying for a little while to push out the difficulties we have trying to fit in.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how I know that feeling. Our school district wants to make sure we know our child is a good kid, so they make sure to start with his strong points. They make sure to tell me he's sweet, kind, and funny. They spend a whole 35 seconds doing that before they spend the next 2 hours telling me what's wrong with him, telling me how behind he is, and arguing with me over what they should or should not provide for him. Hmm, maybe next time I will dream of sandboxes and swingsets. Has to be a nicer reality than that little office we meet in.