Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'm not really suffering from schadenfreude, that cruel pleasure one gets at another person's hardship. Rather, I'm just proud of my kid. Today, Martin was the ONLY well-behaved kid in his classroom. Every other child was loud, inattentive, disobedient. According to the tutor, it was a rough day in the classroom, but not for Martin. He was a peach.

Martin's ability to have a good day while everyone else went nuts is a little contradictory. If any change in routine can throw this kid for a loop, why not a classroom full of riotous children? It would make sense, right? But when he wants to, Martin can clue out everything else. Today, he just did his own thing while everyone else was a little crazed. On other occasions, Martin has simply watched out the window for the entire 6-hour car trip to Virginia, a journey that drives other children to tears and their parents to unplanned purchases of portable DVD players. He can concentrate while his sister cries at deafening levels. While she wails, he continues his tasks of lining up cards and acting out little dramas.

Of course, Martin's ability to concentrate, his capacity to shut out the rest of us, has its pros and cons. Unfortunately, most days it feels like the world can only see the cons. But today, just for today, Martin was the good little guy in his class. His autism was his strength. His peculiar brain, made like it is for unknown reasons, served him well.

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