Thursday, August 18, 2011

Using his smarts

I am always proud of Biscuit -- who he is, what he's accomplished in his short life, pretty much everything about him. But there are some times that I'm even prouder than usual. This morning was one of those times.

We didn't get much sleep in our house last night. Biscuit was having bad dreams, added onto the fact that he has a handful of itchy mosquito bites that he had scratched bloody in his sleep. He was restless and whiny and just downright pitiful. Eventually, we brought him down to our bed, and Jeff moved to the couch for the rest of the night.

This morning, Biscuit was unusually clingy. He even asked me to carry him from the car into day care -- something that almost never happens. Even after I carried him in, he still wasn't too sure about letting go of me. I put him down, and we stood just inside the classroom door until he could get a feel for what was going on.

Biscuit's teacher was holding up signs with alphabet letters on them. She was asking the kids what the letters were and what sounds they make. Biscuit saw this and whispered to me, "Mom, I want to go say wetters."

"Okay, let's go," I said to him. Then I grabbed his hand and led him over to the big rug where they have their circle time. Biscuit sat down, and I headed for the door. I usually drop him off and head out as soon as I can, but for some reason, I stuck around for a few minutes this morning.

The teacher said she was glad Biscuit was there because he knows his letters and he could help out the other kids. I smiled, thinking she was just being nice. But then, she held up a card with a "W" on it.

"What's this letter?" the teacher asked.

"That's a W," Biscuit said. Then the other kids said, "W."

"What sound does it make?" asked the teacher.

"W-w-w-w," Biscuit said. Then the other kids said, "W-w-w-w."

I stood there and watched as this happened five more times. I was amazed. People tell us all the time that he's smart, but I guess it's different when you see it in action.

We are so lucky to have found a day care we like -- somewhere Biscuit feels safe and the teachers help stimulate his learning process. And even more so, we're lucky that Biscuit is able to learn like he does.

A friend of mine recently wrote a newspaper story about her autistic son and a program that pairs special needs kids with horses for therapy. It sounds like the program is really helping her son. And that's a good thing. But it's hard knowing that
even though her son is a bright kid, she has to watch him struggle to learn some things. His brain just doesn't take in information the way other people's brains do.

Every kid is different. Every kid is special in his or her own way. I hope we can encourage Biscuit to become all that he can be while instilling in him a sense of gratitude for just how fortunate we are.

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