As funny as Aaron can be, he can also be very frustrating and hard to tolerate. He’s so much better now than he was when he was younger, though. As I’ve said before, puberty was especially difficult as he struggled with the highs and lows of hormones, which aggravated seizures and autistic behaviors terribly. Siblings of these special children suffer at times as much as, if not even more than, we parents. Andrea and Andrew had times when they were very embarrassed in public by Aaron, or were extremely frustrated by the way Aaron disrupted our home life. Now that they are all older, things have mellowed a lot and we’re very thankful for that!
I remember when Aaron was a student in the day school. We had come out of two very rough years in another school and we were tense about how Aaron would fare in this new school. The day school would choose a word for the week – a word that exhibited a good character trait – and encourage the students to demonstrate that quality all week. On Friday, one student would be awarded the honor of being Student of the Week based on how well they lived out the positive character traits of the chosen word.
One Thursday night our phone rang. I picked it up to find that Mr. Z, Aaron’s teacher, was on the line. He explained to me that on the next day, Friday, Aaron was going to receive the Student of the Week award! I was sure that Tom must have the wrong number! Certainly he meant to call the parent that was next on the list, not us! Aaron?? Student of the Week??!! And when he assured me that, yes, it was indeed Aaron who was the next Student of the Week – well, it was as if the Nobel Prize Committee had called to award Aaron a Nobel Prize! That’s how shocked and proud we were. And the character trait that Aaron had demonstrated? It’s a good thing I was sitting down! It was – BEING PATIENT!!!! We were stunned! We didn’t even realize that Aaron knew that this was a word, much less knew how to exhibit such a trait! You think I’m exaggerating, but you had to know Aaron.
Tom told us not to tell Aaron, but he wanted us to know early. Oh my goodness, I was so excited! Aaron was in his room, so I hurried downstairs to tell the others. I zipped in to the room where they were and said, “GUESS. WHAT?! Tomorrow Aaron is going to be the Student of the Week!!!!” Gary, Andrea, and Andrew stared at me as if I had grown a second head. Then I said, “And guess what the word of the week is?!” And without skipping a beat, Andrea matter-of-factly replied, “Hateful?” I had to laugh! Oh, how well she knew her brother! Then we all laughed and laughed when I told them what the word of the week really was.
We were happy for Aaron and very supportive of him when he came home the next day with his award. We also wondered when the concept of Being Patient would kick in at home. Still waiting on that some days, actually.
|It’s a little worse for wear, but here’s the proof!|
3 thoughts on “Student of the Week??!!”
Patty, that's wonderful! I have read that Autistic children often behave better in public than they do at home because there, he is surrounded by people who love him unconditionally. Therefore, he feels free to “be himself.” That's amazing! Thank you for sharing!
Congratulations, and savor the moment! As a mom of a 12-y-o with Aspergers I can attest that they do sometimes hold it all in during the day at school. That is a hard thing to do. Some days my son comes home like a deflating balloon, spewing hot air and spinning all over the room as he decompresses. LOL
I can so relate, Kathleen! Great description!