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2005-04-04 - 7:11 p.m.

Just read this article:

Am I just naive and really out of it- or does this article just smack of BIG FAT LIAR? Ironically its about selling out and not being honest... but I swear the writer must have just exaggerated a little to make the story that much better.

Then again maybe not.... I do recall every science fair that I thought "Gee... John Doe's mom did nice work!"

I was SO PROUD of Soren when he had a fantastic science project where he miserably failed at making rock candy for his class. No matter, his 1rst grade class mates CHEERED at his effort to make the treat for all of them! His teacher was AMAZED at his creativity and ACTUAL understanding of the scientific process and his insight into the conclusion of what he learned that :




His was truly the only HONEST kid done project.

He went to school embarassed and highly upset at his "failure" with the jar of LIQUID as he just dumped in some random amount of water and sugar and tried to cook it in the glass bowl, burning himself in the miserable process. I happily stood by took pictures he later glued on, and gave guidance after EACH mistake that he later corrected. (Or tried to.... it never worked that year!)

HE returned home with a well earned "PARTICIPANT" RIBBON, but being the CLASS HERO for his effort for them all.... and SUCH PRIDE knowing he did it all himself.

HIS TEACHER was SO THRILLED. I think she may have NEVER before actually witnessed a kid REALLY do a Science Fair Project.

I hope SOREN always remembers those tears she literally held back... and they were overwealming emotion of JOY that she had a student in the contest instead of only parents.

I for one will never forget it.

And I hope the other parents who won their prizes for best project were as proud. (Although I doubt it! I mean WOULD YOU BE GLOWING IF YOU WON FIRST GRADE FAIR AS AN ADULT?? OR WOULD YOU FEEL JUST A BIT GUILTY??)

My other favorite class project was the girl who went up and clumsily read her 1rst grade work. I 'll never forget it. The other kids couldn't even read the words in the parent's vocabulary. Hers was a refreshing simple report: something like "The humpback whale sings" accompanied by one messy drawing. AND THAT WAS IT.

AFTER all the glossy amazing power point presentations, the home video, and the incredibly scientific reports the other kids couldn't really read I was THRILLED by that little girl's report! That year Soren also had a very nice picture (as he happens to be a great artist) and a very good report for a first grader. But it wasn't one that stood out in the crowd. His little friends all were the kids with the not very exciting simple projects they did. The girl's was my favorite as she presented shyly right after one of the kids showed their overdone PARENT"S project. THE contrast was so dramatic!

I CHEERED FOR HER! (To the funny looks of some parents... and the delight of her mom who to be honest I didn't even really like... until then! I admit it- I was angry in the moment and had that spark of anger that kicked in and made me want to address all those idiot overachiever parents who can't let their kids learn to do a thing for themselves)


So maybe the writer of the article didn't exaggerate. Maybe the article represents what those kids really turn into.

IT makes me pleased I"VE never stressed over any child's project, other than to tell them where any needed supplys are and to encourage them to persue opportunities and give guidance to pay attention to things like DIRECTIONS and DEADLINES.

SADIE is starting KINDERGARDEN this coming FALL! I CAN"T BELIEVE how big she is! She has loved Preschool this year at the local Community Center. When we walked into the class I was surprised to find the teacher was THAT SAME MOM of the little girl with the one line report and sloppy picture! So I wasn't too surprised when she explained her educational philosophy to the parents that she was "not one to worry about the outcome as much as ensuring the children really are involved in a creative learning PROCESS of achieving themselves. "

Time to round up the little ones who are playing. I have tackled a few things on my TO DO list today but CLEANING CARPETS is still on it and not done yet. I hope to have the girls in bed early and to get that done. They are all overdo, and I have a cool Bisell Carpet Cleaner that my friend Sandra in Buffalo gave me YEARS ago as a gift that I love as its easy to use!

( Wedding gift actually from my first wedding in 95!)

It has lasted a long time! A highly recommended cleaning tool! I bought the solution recently at COSCO so am ready to tackle the formula and juice stains... and other unmentionable fluid stains due to toddlers!

Speaking of friend Sandra, she recently had her 2nd baby. She was a CO-Worker at a group home for autistic men. She married the brother of one of the residents who we worked with. Their first child is a boy who is now 2 1/2 and not yet talking. He walks on his toes, tantrums alot, and exhibits some self stimulatory behaviour. Rosita says its sad he is clearly autistic. Sandra seems to be having a hard time with this, and herself is in a bit of denial BUT the good news is that she recently got him in an EARLY intervention program and he now has OT and Speech Therapy and other services 4 to 5 times a week. NEW YORK STATE really is the place to be if one has a child with a disability. ITs so hard for her. Thankfully her husband is THE MOST LAID BACK supportive guy... and he loves her and is supportive and I think great for her and the kids. So I hope the assistance helps and they all do well with the challenges.

We used to all worry and say we hoped our expertise and experience wasn't in preparation for something we'd later have to face in our own personal lives.

Strangely, in some ways that work experience HAS been invaluable to ALL Of us in our personal lives, so now we wonder which came first :THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG so to speak? Have we delt w/ people who have these similar issues or traits due to our comfort/familirity and ATTRACTION to those who exhibit some characteristics? OR was the work experience really some preparation for something we'd have to deal with later ANYWAY???

I know that my daughter (What's the psudoname....AHHH AHH OH YES! I REMEMBER) KATIE, has had some serious issues that I think my experience has helped me with. She definately had more difficulty with communication, and being tactilly defensive than any other of my children. She definatly is a kid that if assessed a year ago (or longer) could easily have been "identified" as having issues. She had the tantrums when toothbrusing, dressing and other sensory experiences were overload for her. She comes by this honestly as the saying goes as WESTLEY was the SAME WAY! HIS MOM with the years of SPECIAL ED experience had early help for him!

Katie has come a LONG WAY in both maturation and her communication and dealing with life in the past few years!

I guess the most important thing is EXPOSURE to language OVER AND OVER again. Both Westly and I talk more than MOST people so I am sure that helps alot! Also, in a large family there is SO MUCH sensory overload that I think that helps kids with sesory troubles get more used to stimuli!

Only theories.... Westly himself would likely be ASPERGERS or borderline... I've joked about OCD. REALLY he doesn't meet that criterion, but he IS this brilliant person with a low empathy quotient and when we did one of those tests together years ago on the mutliple intelligences his suggested possible aspergers.

He however receieved such support from his MOM that he has so many life skills that I think she honed.

Empathy itself I think can be learned to an extent. Westley has social skills and professional skills that have made him successful in life, although not without limitations and difficulty.

He's open to listening to me talk of this, although he hates if I label and I understand that! He finds it offensive. But he is willing to listen and seek to learn more. He called me when he saw a show on AUTISM and said that KAtie was just like the infants on the show!!

He is also reading a great book THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG which the author wrote from an autistic man's perspective. He's enjoying it!

So I think Westley has self awareness. I think this goes a long way.

In the end though I have learned that its for each individual to go through their own process of self discovery. I try to work on ME and improve myself, and I try not to focus on Westley or anyone else as far as their issues. I try to address other's issues only insofar as they AFFECT me or others.

And I try to be open and honest about what I think WHEN ASKED or when the natural opportunity arises!

Funny how I sit to write and never know what I will end up writing about! I had no intention of this being the topic tonight! OK- ITS BEDTIME FOR GIRLS... REALLY OFF to get them to bed!

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