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Sunday, May 18, 2008

This 'n' That

It's been such a long time since I wrote that I'm a bit overwhelmed by the idea of catching up! A few highights:

We took a ten-day trip to visit our old home in Pennsylvania, and friends and family were all very impressed with Tom's progress. We even made it all the way to DC, and visited the Lincoln Memorial and a few other "sights." Sara revisited her old friends and school; Tom adamantly did NOT wish to see kids he'd known - which was just fine with us! Instead, we spent plenty of time with various folks he DID want to see, and avoided worrying our heads about explaining homeschool to Tom's old teachers!

I set up a homeschool visit to the home/studio of a weaver in Cataumet (Bourne, just north of Falmouth). It was a surprisingly good experience, and Tom really enjoyed it. In fact, despite the fact that he said he WOULD NOT try weaving, he DID try weaving on the big loom - three times. Came home with a little blanket for Lizard! I was proud because this was the very first time I'd set up a successful homeschool happening that included a number of families (I think six families came) - and it turned out to be a positive experience for all. Whew!

We worked hard on a series of paragraphs about the Human Body, and supported our reading and writing with some hands-on experiments (not especially well-received, but I gave it a shot); a few videos and websites; and a trip to the Human Body exhibit at the Science Museum in Boston (below). Gotta say that what he REALLY loves at the MOS is the amazing Rube Goldberg device (balls moving through an incredibly complex and beautiful contraption); a few dioramas; and of course the traveling exhibit on ... reptiles! Still, we did get a chance to explore the body a bit.

Once we had three paragraphs on various systems of the body (I used graphical organizing templates from various websites) I realized I had the makings for a proper five paragraph essay. We did produce one, and he does understand the content - but I'm not at all sure that the structure makes a whole lot of sense to him. Still, it's a start - and a legit sample to include in his portfolio...

Did read the Daniel Tammet book you all suggested (Born on a Blue Day). Fascinating guy, but NOTHING like Tom. Tom is so arts-and-music, where true aspies seem to be all structures-and-math... Tom is story-and-sound effects, no interest in systems... that's why I just don't think Asperger syndrome fits him.

Meanwhile, thinking a lot lately about the whole notion of community and friendships... a friend down the road said she wanted to present her aspie son's IEP team with the idea that she wants her son to have "a community." I really had to wonder - can ANYone guarantee a community? And if "anyone" can - should that anyone be a public school? I myself have rarely felt "in community" with more than one or two people at a time... somehow doesn't seem like a basic entitlement like learning to read is...

More on this soon, I hope!

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