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|Sun, 03-28-2010 - 3:45pm|
Went to Euan's (11, Aspie) open evening at school last night: this is where all the classes are open with displays along themes that the kids have been working on. Euan's class theme was astronomy this term (some of you may have caught our homework woes earlier on hosting a star gazing party, which in the end worked out ok - Euan used a toy planetarium to show us and some friends some of the constellations, told us some of the myths and legends and made up an astronomy quiz and crossword for us). This topic has really fired Euan up, to the extent that he has been agreeing to work in groups and completely homework assignments completely unprompted for the first time EVER.
We arrived at school and were shown into the homework display hall, and there in the middle of the hall was Euan's model of Saturn V, alongside all his classmates' models of planets and space vehicles. We were button-holed by the principal who said that in all her years of teaching this topic this was the first time she thought she had a student who might genuinely become an astronomer (Euan corrected her, very politely, to tell her he was going to be either an astro-physicist or an astro-biologist LOL). Then in the classroom, alongside all the other reports was one Euan had written and illustrated (using his laptop) on space junk, on the PC display was his powerpoint presentation on the difference between Earth and Mars, on the wall was a display of the constellation of Leo that he complete IN A GROUP WITH THREE OTHER PEOPLE, and, the best of all, on the blackboard was taped a list of "aims" that the children had for the project, and the first one, written by one of the class was "For everyone to know as much about astronomy as Euan Lippmann".
Our jaws just dropped. I have NEVER been to an open evening and actually seen some of Euan's work displayed alongside his classmates because usually he never actually finishes anything - so to have it not only displayed, but taking pride of place was truly amazing. His teacher was beside herself with excitement - she asked Euan in front of us what he enjoyed about working in the group to complete the display and he said "It was great doing stuff I was good at, and letting other people do the stuff they were good at. And it was really great learning from the other people, and telling them what I knew." OH MY FRICKING GAWD. He finally "gets" the point of working in groups, something that we and his teachers have been struggling to get him to do since he started school and hitherto the bane of our existance and the reason for his poor grades.
Of course I nearly ruined it all by hugging him and telling him how proud I was of all his hard work, whereupon he had to go run round the yard and flap his wings for a bit to recover from that. Every single other open evening I have come away feeling like a complete failure as a parent and so discouraged on Euan's behalf that he didn't appear to be making any progress at all. This is the first time I have come away feeling proud of him, of his teachers, and of all the progress we have made.
Now it's such a shame that not *all* the curriculum can be based on astronomy, I'd be sending my A-grade student to MIT! :-)
Kirsty, proud mum to Euan (11, Aspergers) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)