Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Perfect Understanding of Himself

Lots of things to tell you, all in good time. About my trip to Philly. About my planet-imposed blogstipation. About my feeling like a big chapter is closing, and another exciting one is opening up. About turning 49 next week. But for now, we are all in need of a Rojo-ism, am I right?

At Rojo's school he has a class called "Support." This semester they are going to help the kids better understand their own diagnosis, learn to self-advocate and form a written body of work they can pass on to future teachers, to help them work effectively with them. Rojo has three eligibilities: ASD (PDD-NOS), Communication Disorder (long story why I wanted him to have that, on top of ASD), and ADHD. He knows in no uncertain terms he has ADHD. He can tell you all about how hyper he gets without his meds, how it makes it hard for him to focus, how he's easily distracted, etc. He knows that learning is hard for him. He knows he's in a class where everyone needs extra help. He knows he's going to camp this summer where again, everyone has "something" and needs extra help. We've talked about Asperger's, classic autism and PDD-NOS and how that makes up autism spectrum disorder, which he has.

Every time it comes up or I bring it up, he jumps off the topic immediately. I've always taken that as my clue that he doesn't want to talk about it, or is comprehending it as best he can at that particular point. But because there is going to be quite some discussion/work on this at school, I brought it up again last night.

"Rojo, you know how we've said you don't exactly have autism or Asperger's like _________ or __________, but that you do have autism spectrum disorder? Well, you're going to learn more about that in Support, and learn how to advocate for yourself, and help your other teachers understand you better."

"Will we go around the room and tell what we have?" he asked.

"I'm not sure."

"I want to. I want everyone to ask me what I have, so I can tell them I have optimism!"

Need I say more?

* To order your own IEP T-shirt, click here.


kario said...

Where do I begin with this?

I love the t-shirt - whoever made that is an absolute freaking genius.

I love the notion of a class called "support." Everyone of all ages and abilities ought to have a place to go where the main agenda is support.

And I am so in love with your son. I hope they do go around the room and I hope they start with him so that everyone gets off on the right foot.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. said...

First true smile of a very long day.

Thank you Mr. Optimism.

You have my heart.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I do love that Rojo. He always, always brings a smile to my face! And thanks for the t-shirt link -- I ordered a girl's one for my Sophie.

Julie said...

Wow. Your school system rocks if you actually get that much good stuff from it! I have a 14 year old I've been fighting to get some kind of diagnosis/services beyond her speech IEP. The school system fights me at every turn.

Bravo, Rojo!!

Peggy Sue is a mom said...

Rojo is such an amazing teacher! I learn so much from him. : )