Anyway, I have a RyLeigh story for you. Yesterday he wore his blue Light up the Night, Autism awareness t-shirt to school. And when one of his teachers remarked on his shirt he proceeded to explain to her (as though she wouldn't know as a special ed teacher) and when she told him that he had explained it very well, he then asked if he could explain it to other kids. The funny thing is he has been very shy to give class presentations when required, but was very enthusiastic about talking about Autism Awareness day. He encouraged the kids to wear blue or white today and then asked them if they were willing to support Autism Awareness day. His teacher called to say that what was cute was that the kids rallied behind RyLeigh, even some who are on the spectrum but don't know it. Their parents have chosen to keep them "non labeled". Ry was so proud and happy that he could help. Could hardly wait to get to school today.
Now for those of you that don't know our Ry. He is our in resident "inside, outside, upside down Aspergian philosopher" of Casa de Cuckoo and quite the hugger. He has had a helluva time in the other two schools, in which he was enrolled. When Shelley and the kids moved back here 5 years ago, Ry was non verbal, aggressive, and a bundle of "no's" at age 5. Kindergarten was like him being placed in a holding cell with the hardcore criminals. All of the other kids in the only class they could find for Ry were not only special needs but also non functioning on any level. It was a warehousing situation for poor Ry. He didn't stay there long. First grade his teacher (who wasn't a credential teacher at all and had no background in special needs) thought that because we have an "alternative religious background" that he was possessed and that was what was amiss with him. She even told us that. Second grade he had a first year teacher who tried her best to help. The administration however just could not be reached.....they had no understanding of his needs. She at least showed him kindness. Third year he had a teacher that didn't want to be touched and took his loving nature as a threat to her person. Yet, he made up for being a non reader and was almost up to grade level (thank goodness his Mom and I both were educators) by the end of 3rd grade.
And this year he is in a 50/50 school. 50% of the kids are traditional students and 50% are special needs kids (deaf, on the spectrum, mobility impaired, etc). He is just within a smidgen of being at grade level and loves math. And it was to this audience that Mr. Ry wanted to tell them what it is like to be autistic. It was his idea. He stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park. He scored the winning run. I couldn't be more proud of him.
He is my hero. I don't know if I were him if I'd have had the courage to live through all he has gone through and still be the biggest hug monster on the planet. Without the love of his Cuckoos, his wonderful therapist Dr. Dan and his willingness to trust (though I don't know why except he is an optimist) his story could be much different.
He has a mind like a steel trap (if he is interested in something), doesn't forget anything he hears (except when it has to do with picking up or other kid related amnesia things). He is very typically non typical. He believes in rules, wants others to abide by them, values his privacy and space and isn't afraid to announce it, loves his Mom and Sissy so much sometimes it is a sight to behold. Loves his time with his main man Papa on Saturdays when they do "man things". And always has the sweetest grin to flash my way before his gives me the best hugs ever.
Little man.........your ROCK.
And lovelies, I wanted to give you an update on our dear Ms. April. She and her husband Jim were in the throws of such a deep dark despair over the loss of their dear Henry Rott and your comments and well wishes to them were so appreciated and brought comfort and I must thank you for your thoughtfulness.
And I have a happy thing to report. Because they knew they could not go on without a Rotty in their lives, here is a picture of Harold. A sweet, time consuming, love bug to brighten their day and help their hearts heal. Isn't he precious?
|sleep tight baby Harold|