Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Think Different

My son told me the other day that he realized that he thinks differently from other kids. I told him that is what makes him special and unique.

You see, Munchie Boy has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay, Not Otherwise Specified. PDD-NOS for short. This is on the autism spectrum. When I had him tested, years ago,  his score was 10. One had to have a minimum score of 10 to be considered on the autism spectrum. His scores came from the following traits: being literal, no imaginative play, not looking someone in the eye, enjoying spinning/running in circles and some physical delays in speech, fine and gross motor skills. There were other "issues" but these were just the highlights.

Although, to this day, he remains quite literal he has definitely come full circle in the other categories. He is very clever and tests high on the Iowa Basics. He has an unusual wit and humor that endears all who come to know him. His imagination is quite active albeit unique. He will look you in the eye while speaking (although maintaining eye contact is still an issue) and he no longer runs/spins in circles. He has, however, become very focused and fascinated by all things Nintendo! He can tell you the history of Nintendo, about the "war" between Nintendo and Sega, when new games will be coming out, and all about the new games prior to their release. He knows his way around all things high tech, which is fortunate because he can help me out when it's time to figure out how to turn on the TV! (please refer to any of Mr. Sister's guest posts and you'll see why this is quite a feat!)

Why the progress? I truly think homeschooling helped him tremendously. He has been able to receive one on one attention and is doing quite well in all subjects. I also believe that having him be involved on the swim team has helped with his physical developmental delays (core strength/fine and gross motor skills).  

The Munch Meister also aims to please which leads me to another way in which he is different. He will do exactly what is asked of him. Not more, not less. Maybe that's part of his literal way of thinking but it is truly helpful that I can always count on him. 

Munch is also very innocent. His stuffed animals still have a place of honor on his bed. He is the biggest fan of Santa Claus, EVER. (I'm a big fan of Ol' St. Nick myself!) This innocence is refreshing in this day and age of cynicism and violence. 

Yes, Munch. You do think different and that is what makes you so very special. Never be afraid to be you for you are just who God intended you to be.

On a side note: Munchie will be entering the 6th grade next year. I am seriously considering allowing him to attend the charter school big sis goes to (it's K-12). He has asked about bullies (he remembers some not so good times at the public school) and I fear the loss of innocence and wonder he possesses. It's a big decision and one in which I will have to pray about. 


5thsister said...

I failed to mention that Mr. Sister and I treat Munchie Boy no differently than if he wasn't on the autism spectrum.

Pelican Joe said...

You forgot to mention that the kid has literally no fear. I took him to Scarrowinds (an amusement park turned into a bunch of haunted houses), he was not phased by any of the scare tactics. He also rides and enjoys all roller-coasters and thrill rides. ...and he even asked if he could bungee-jump.

5thsister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
5thsister said...

You're correct! He has absolutely no fear! The need for speed. He was even like that as a baby...wanted the swing dialed up full tilt! Took a ride down the stairs in his walker! He's a thrill seeker for sure!

Ms Bibi said...

Munchie Boy is turning out to be a wonderful young man. Great job as a parents.

Hormone Boy has been different since the day he opened his eyes. He thinks different than his peers, he acts different because when he tries to act like them it look so unnatural. He has a very high IQ.He's been bullied for years and had to suffer hate and insults almost daily. I was considering homeschooling especially when he was diagnosed with diabetes and got teased for it. He refused to let me pull him out. So I was there to wipe out the tears and support him. He told me he can handle it and sometimes last year he decided to stop trying to be like the other kids and just be true to himself. Today he is happy 12 year old with friends, no bully problems and high self-esteem. I am so proud of him.

Sorry, didn't mean to take over your post here. Your post just brought up some old issues for me.

The decision you are trying to make is not easy one. God will help you along the way.


good luck with your decision

you are a good mommy

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

This is a great post. I love how you talk about him and he sounds like a great kid. Like his mommy!!

Julie Schuler said...

Great post and it sounds like your son has made a lot of progress. I was really worried about Matthew's lack of social skills when he did not have many children to interact with, before his brother came along. At the park, his father told him he should go up and ask another boy his name if he wanted to play with him. So Matthew marched right up to his face and asked "What is your name?" in his best imitation of a robot. Since he's started school, he's much more social and amiable, though still on the shy side.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I think you are doing a fabulous job working with him. If he truly wants to go to school with his sister, I would let him.

tahoegirl said...

what a heart warming story, 5thsis.

Shell said...

How awesome that you celebrate your different thinker!

And cheers to you for homeschooling. It's something I will consider when my boys are old enough.

Willoughby said...

I think you're absolutely right about Munchie Boy benefitting from the one on one instruction he gets with you homeschooling him. I have thought many times about doing that with my daughter. She does well in school, but it used to be any time she would get bored and not finish an assignment, the teacher would think she had issues related to being a preemie. She talks very quietly, too, and that's a problem for some teachers. She had a terrible teacher in first grade that completely tainted my opinion of teachers, in general (not fair, I know, I'm working on it).

I understand your hesitation about letting Munchie go to the charter school. I would be concerned, too. But, worse case scenario, you could always pull him out and homeschool him again if it didn't work out. Just a thought!

Raoulysgirl said...

What a great boy Munchie seems to be!

My sister's son has been diagnosed and re-diagnosed for the last 10 years. He'll be 15 in January and it is still unclear what, exactly, his diagnosis SHOULD be.

For much of his life, he was diagnosed as having ADHD, ODD, and something (not sure of the exact name) that fell on the AS...but was also "otherwise unspecified."

This past summer, he was put through a battery of tests, after which, my sis was told that he has none of those things...just Tourette's.

Which could very likely be a result of all of the meds they have tried on him over the years.

He too, is a sweet and innocent boy who now, at 14, just seems like a big kid. He also loves his video games and uses them exclusively for his free time activity. He has some problems in school (especially since the tics started) and I really worry about his drive to see it through to the end. He is rather disenchanted with the whole process...which is a shame because he is incredibly intelligent.

Sorry that this is so long! You brought up something that I happen to feel very passionately about!!! I will keep your family (but especially Munch, if you don't mind :) ) in my prayers...that you will be guided in the right direction.

Again, sorry for the mini-post in your comment section!!!

kys said...

I really liked this post! He sounds like a great kid and I know that whatever decision you make will be the right one for him.

Why can't the bullies all have their own school so they can harrass each other and beat each other up? Then our poor kids wouldn't have to deal with their vile behavior. (I can't stand bullies!)

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

We recently found out/pieced together that my nephew has borderline Asperger's. he has been homeschooled in the past and my sister is thinking about it again for the same reasons your described. I think it is great that you celebrate the differences that make your son unique--I feel the same about my nephew!

Pelican Joe said...

Wow, this is like a blog within a blog!

Purple Flowers said...

5thSis - this is an excellent post. It has allowed people to open up about a subject that is so near and dear to many hearts. You should be so proud of yourself that you are teaching your son on so many levels. He's already doing you proud. Depending on his personality, a charter school may be good for him, because parents are very involved w/the school. That is what I have heard from my friends whose children go to Charter schools. Hooray for you! You are an excellent Mom!! :)

AJ said...

Hi I saw you over at SFTC. I couldn't help but notice your comment about your lack of button. I JUST posted about that! You can go back and scroll down... it was on Tuesday :)

I can help. I'll do it for free! :)
PS. If you like what you see, and decide to follow, I'll follow you right back!

Life Laugh Latte said...

My sister loves when I come to visit because I love hear her son tell me his intensive knowledge of whatever he is into. He has Aspbergers and she is incredibly patient, but still it is a lot to endure every day. I take him on drives to the store etc...and ooo and aaa about all of the stories in his head. So fun to be Auntie! My 6th grader is well liked at school, cares about what she wears, is turning 12 tomorrow...but she still loves her American Girl dolls, jumping in the bath with my 6 year old son and playing my little ponies. I agree with you that keeping the innocence alive is one of our biggest tasks as a parent. Thanks for coming by, Holly:)

Parenthood For Me said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. I think this post about your son is amazing.

Anonymous said...

your son sounds like a lovely boy with a wonderful family and support system. how wonderful it is to think different--it seems so very him. :)

the domestic mama said...

A few hours a day in school will not take away the years of what he has learned from you. No decision is permanent either- so if it doesn't work out- he can go home agian. I know I will face that challange one day, also. For now I am doing my best. You have done a wonderful job, :)

Lissaloo said...

Munchie Boy always sounds like such a sweetheart, thinking differently is a GREAT way to be:)
Miss M has a sensitivity disorder, that is also on the autism spectrum, it makes things life a lot more interesting.
I think Willoughby has a great point, if school doesn't work you can pull him out.
My Hubby is a big fan of public school, therefor ours go. But there has always been problems for my son, he had one little boy that picked on him horribly in first grade because my son was/is a very good student.
It's a hard decision to make.

Holly said...

It sounds like you have done just the right thing for Munchie Boy. Too bad we didn't live closer...I think our boys could go on and on about Nintendo.

At many points I felt like I was reading about my own son. He is not diagnosed with anything...although we have been to doctors. I am not convinced about this lack of diagnosis yet.

I have been having computer issues and am so very glad I am playing catch up because I would have missed this beautiful post. Good Mommy!



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