Last year: Spent class field trip slowly walking behind group, complaining loudly, low energy.
This year: Happy to see me, checked in occasionally, but spent most of the time with his class, listening to the guide, asking questions.
Last year: Had to leave the talent show early because he was so unhappy and disruptive.
This year: Sat next to me for the whole show. Recognized songs from the radio. Complimented the performers.
Last year: School party was too loud, too chaotic. Spent a slow thirty minutes eating ice cream and left without playing a single game.
This year: In and out of the obstacle course over and over again. Played every game. Asked a friend to play frisbee on the playground.
Last year: Refused to participate in his first badge ceremony.
Last year: Teacher sending emails every day, listing one problem after another.
This year: Teacher sending emails, listing problems and then … coming up with a list of solutions. Strategies. Help. Encouragement. Compassion. Support.
Last year: Had to be practically held in place to keep from bolting during the Flag Day ceremony because he was so uncomfortable.
This year: Proudly wore scout uniform to school. Got up on stage with his fellow cubs to lead the pledge. Stood up on the risers with his class … and even sang some of the song!
Life with this quirky kid has not been easy, but what a difference a year makes. He is sharp as a tack and makes me laugh every day. His heart is full of love for his pet and his family (in that order). He reads everything he can and asks a zillion questions (to which he absolutely expects an answer). We are navigating this bumpy road together and are right now doing pretty well.