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Archive for April, 2010

Edward’s Solo

I was a nervous wreck last week because Edward was chosen for a solo in a school musical about ancient history.

I became nearly overwrought the morning of the event when he claimed he knew everyone else’s parts.  I assumed he meant he knew their parts to the songs, but in reality he had memorized every speaking and singing part in the entire 45 minute play.

I started to panic.  I could just see him breaking out and usurping the Confucius role, or running over and throwing King Tut out of his couch while belting out a soliloquy.  Not that he would mean to disrupt, it’s just the the drive to entertain is so strong that many times he has been overcome and stage productions such as these have not ended well.

One such example is the time the preacher at our largish church learned that a then two-year-old Edward had memorized “The Lord’s Prayer” and invited him to recite it in front of the whole congregation.  Edward thrilled to the attention and applause, but assumed that he would be called to the stage the next time the congregation gathered.  It was months before he could pass by a congregational event without rushing the stage.

Also not soon forgotten is the spelling bee fiasco of last year when I wrote:

“Spelling Bees are not a place to flex burgeoning acting desires.  Spellmasters are not entertained by a first grader who lavishly calls out to the crowd of 200 in a dramatic Shakespearean voice, ‘What is my word?’”

“First graders who treat Spelling Bees like ‘stage shows’ are quite displeased when disqualified from the bee for accidentally saying an errant letter before correctly spelling their word.  They might cry, flail and break down as they are wrested from the stage by their mother.  In front of 200 people.”

I still haven’t fully recovered…

I am happy to say that while my heart pounded and I prayed furiously, Edward sang his Mesopotanium tribute perfectly!

And when he was finished, he sat down.  Yes, I saw him mouth the other children’s parts throughout much of the play, but he stayed seated.

A big milestone for us!

I thought a few of you might get a kick out of the lyrics to E’s rather utopian song, “The Land Between Two Rivers.”

Day by day, year by year, building a land like no other.  Never stop, never fear, build for your sister and brother.  Two rivers, many people, come together on the land.  One vision, all people, the land between two rivers is our home.

Please also note that E does not thrill to the new nickname his brother has coined for him, “Two Rivers.”

Still, you can imagine how we have augmented the song to fit various situations: “Never stop cleaning your room, never fear handwriting practice, pick up Legos for your sister and brother…”

Posted on 6 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 8 Comments.

Blessed Easter!

Posted on 4 April '10 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 2 Comments.

Things We Say to Psychologists II

Since the diagnosis roulette wheel has finally slowed to a stop, I have gradually begun to feel a bit more comfortable with Edward’s Asperger’s diagnosis.

I even told my mother about it this week without crying or hyperventilating.

Still, it’s always a bit nerve-wracking to go into developmental assessment and psychological testing type situations even though I am now armed with a hefty binder of reports.

I find that Edward, too, has began to thrill to these types of meetings and assessments.

(Wait a minute, he always thrilled to them…)

We found out about a university-run social skills summer camp a few months ago and decided to apply.  Of course Edward had his sites set on a “survival skills” camp, but since social skills are so closely tied to survival I didn’t feel like I was being too terribly deceptive in telling him he was “trying out” for a survival camp.

He did decide to wear some camouflage pants.

We arrived early where Edward asks the receptionist about thirty thousand questions about a small desk water feature.  One question involved whether or not the plastic ball that spun about in the milky water was made from extruded plastic.  The poor woman was just trying to type.  Just trying to answer the phone.

Interestingly enough, although we were 45 minutes early, we were soon called back for our interview.  We are greeted by two bright-eyed child psychologists who look like grad students.

Edward settles himself comfortably at the interview table and addresses the camp psychologist:

“So I see you are a convict…”

The poor youthful psychologist looks at me quizzically.  I point to the stripes on his shirt and nod.

Next Edward is required to describe what is happening in a variety of photographs depicting various childhood social situations.  A child who has clearly fallen and skinned his knee is described as “demoralized” and “gravely wounded.”

Naturally he devises a complicated system of checking off the questions as he completes them.  This involves creating an icon for each item based on a team that his soccer team, the Slimers, have played and supposedly defeated.  It’s terribly complicated and time-consuming but the psychologist handles this patiently and E completes the interview after soundly beating the fellow in three games of Connect Four.

At this point, a reward-treat is offered and Edward trots off to procure it with the psychologist while I meet with the other camp counselor who assures me that E is a wonderful fit for their camp and that he will probably enjoy the drama and acting the most.  I assured her she was correct about that, and that I was potentially planning on selling plasma to pay for the insanely expensive camp.

A few minutes later the other youthful psychologist enters the room and looks around nervously.  Then she whispers to me, “I left all the treats at the other office.”

She begins to scramble about bags of coffee creamer while Edward eyes her expectantly.  “I’m sure you’ll find a suitable treat for me,” he assures her, and continues to grill the other psychologist about whether or not the camp will involve squeezing water out of animal dung.

All of a sudden I eye a bag of mint Life Savers.  “Here, this will work perfectly!  He never gets any ‘normal’ candy so he’ll be so excited about this,” I assure her.  She looks skeptically at me and hands me several mints.  “No,  just one is enough.  There is probably some sort of artificial color in there somewhere and we can’t have much of that…”

She presents the mint to Edward who beams like she’s handed him a gold bar:  “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Kelly!  This is just what I wanted.  Just perfect!”

And with that we are off to collect the van in the free valet parking area.

You have to love a children’s medical facility that provides free valet parking.

Posted on 1 April '10 by , under Autism Spectrum/Sensory Processing, Humor/Disconnected Miscellany. 7 Comments.