How come when my kid does something dumb at school I have to be hauled into the principal’s office? And why do arrows have such pointy, sharp tips?
My middle guy, PVP, is strong on kisses and cuddles, he’s a great reader, he writes, he cooks, he’s interested in most things going, but he hates Sport. He’s lucky his PE teacher, Sando, is likes him and they get along. Plenty of teachers would have given up. Who wants to teach a kid who won’t join in, who wanders off, argues, and hates the subject you love?
In my daydreaming I imagine myself teaching writing, we’d talk about sentences and paragraphs and character and plot. We discuss adverbs and why you should keep them in your pocket. Then I remind myself some of my students might not want to be there. How would I feel? Yes, PVP is lucky to have Sando. And Sando is lucky is to have him because a recalcitrant, charming, brat of a ratfink student is bound to teach you something.
The principal, the house principal, the mentor, PVP and me all at the round table. Now PVP gets that you don’t shoot arrows anywhere you like. Yep, it was at the ground, at a short distance, but he could have hit someone and yeah, but I didn’t doesn’t cut it. So he’s got a day’s suspension which he’s not happy about, and worse, they don’t feel they can trust him in potentially dangerous situations, like science class or in the school’s kitchen.
PVP isn’t a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, he’s harder to define that that. He’s more like a hairy, slippery-sided parallelogram trying to fit into a round hole with teeth. He’s got Add or ADHD, I struggle to understand the difference, or maybe, he has Autism, or Asperger’s. It looks like all and it never looks like none.
The school asked if he’d been assessed.
Yes, I said. Told them what the pediatrician said. But here’s my assessment.
PVP is different, he’s smart, he needs patience and a little understanding, he’s delightful, and sometimes he’s a bloody nong. Most everybody I know could fit that description (if I’ve offended anyone then I suggest they take a look in the mirror).
Back at the round table, PVP impressed with maturity, with his abiltity to stay on topic, to be contrite and exlpain why. He sat still, and upright, and he didn’t rely on cheeky grins and Simpson’s refeerances to get the job done. His principal told him he hadn’t seen him as accommodating and conscientious since they first met nearly a year ago. And his principal wondered how much of his usual non-communicative, errant behaviour was out of his control. If you can do it today, PVP, why not every other day? He’s got me wondering too.
Is PVP living out the label he’s been given?
Tomorrow we have another appointment with the pediatrician, I’ll renew PVP’s prescription for Concerta (ADD medication) and I’ll ask about Autism and Asperger’s. But, what if we walked out of there with nothing named?
My beautiful, sometimes silly, always wide-eyed, son calls himself ADD boy. That’s pretty bloody sad, if you ask me.
What if, during the appointment, we told PVP that nothing was ’wrong’ that he’d grow out of his issues over the Christmas holidays? That he was a normal everyday great kid and that he’d return to school in February more like the kid at the round table and less like the kid with the suspension.
Could we keep an eye, stay close just in case, and drop the label?
Would it work?
if we have to label him let’s call him Chocolate Boy