Autism. No-one can beat Table One!
This morning Bright Eyes reminded me again that I was 'invited to help with LIPI' which is the formal phonetics reading program his teacher does in class. He seemed so keen that I rearranged my schedule and went over to school at 10.30.
As the three parent helpers filed in, I could see Bright Eyes turning around, looking for me. When he caught my eye he grinned and waved and his face lit up. Delightful!
I stood at the other end of the room from him and helped other children, but I got a good look at how he interacted with his table mates. As far as the actual academic work went, he was fine. He even got a 'point' for knowing that the word 'wrong' began with 'w'. In terms of teamwork, he was fast, cooperative and knew exactly what he was supposed to be doing. And he made sure the rest of his team mates knew it too, saying, "Come on, T. Fold your arms," or, "Quick. Rub it out."
Every time a table group got a point, he would say, "No-one beats Table 1!" Luckily, he wasn't too upset when Table 4 pulled ahead in the points and Table 1 came a close second.
I was so pleased to see him happy, participating and doing well. And so I'll concede, school has been good for him, not just for time out for me.
Last week Bright Eyes' class led the assembly. He didn't want to sit up on the steps with all the other children, and didn't participate in the song ("I don't know the words," was his reason), but he did get up and read out his story about his family, and show the flag he had made on the computer. We were very proud of him, and weren't the only people in the room with wet eyes.