Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The Little Boy That Could - Written 6/18/14 but Never Published here
That Picture......These pictures have only started coming home in Frankie's back pack in the last few months. I'm not sure if he just didn't have the time or maybe his creativity hadn't peaked yet, but all these lovely drawings are new to me. Some I hang up and some I stow away in a special cubby he has that house crafts since he started school at 3.
This picture was different. I found it, like others before, and placed it on the kitchen table and smiled. Through out the course of the night he was obsessively asking for new crayons and after about an hour asked me for a stapler. I questioned what he was doing, then he told me he needed to show two children, in the mainstream class , that he too could draw and color in the lines. If you have yet to read my about section, my son was diagnosed with Autism at 30 months. Since then he has been in some sort of intense therapy and at age three began full time 8am-3pm schooling 5 days a week. OT, PT, Speech, etc. etc. He now is in a special Ed class and is mainstreamed certain parts of the day.
So here he sat, holding this picture, telling me about how he was told he was not a very good drawer and never stayed in the lines. He started getting upset because no one could tell that the orange figure on the right was a tick tock crock and how he should have used green but he was too terrible at coloring. That thing in the middle.....its the Jolly Roger, Captain hooks boat, but no one could tell because he was a bad drawer and he should be better.
I'll be honest, at first I was angry. I was angry that anyone would tell him he wasn't good. It took close to two years to get him to hold a pencil right and now hes stressed out about his drawing abilities. Of course I took a step back and realized that no Five or Six year old is going to understand the mountain that Frankie has climbed. The mere fact that he had enough imagination to think up this scene from Jake and the Never land Pirates and then tried to produce it on paper while sitting quietly in a mainstream classroom was a friggen miracle.....no one could know that.
My son began to cry the more I insisted that his drawing was amazing, he cried because he said he would never be good.....and then I cried. I sat on the floor of his room and cried and cried that he was upset and then I cried because I was glad he had enough emotion and realization of the world around him now that he could cry. I sat him down on his desk chair and said..... "let me tell you a story about a little boy I knew...."
I told him a story......It went like this...... "Once upon a time there was a tiny little boy. He didn't talk at all! He liked to spin wheels and never answered to his name. His mommy and daddy thought his ears were broke and he cried all the time. The boy liked to jump all day and when he got angry he would hit his head, bite and hit others. He didn't know how to play with his toys, friends or anything!............ He is now looking at me like I'm insane........... Then one day the mommy called the doctors who told her that the little boy had Autism. They told her that they didn't know what could happen. The mommy and daddy even got the boy an Ipad because they didn't know if he would ever talk. The little boy had teachers come to his house everyday for HOURS to teach him to play and listen and learn to talk....the little boy was so upset, he didn't think he couldn't do it sometimes and he would even try and throw tables........ Insert Wide eyed shocked look from my son now............... But the boy kept trying and trying and he surprised everyone, no one thought he could do the things he would do, some people didn't believe in him but his family and teachers sure did. He tried so hard to learn new things and he did great at all of them. Now he is doing awesome and still learning to do new things everyday!"........ Then I ask him.... "Do you know that boy?" of course he says no. So it came as quite a shock when I explained to him that, I had just told him the story of him. I said "There were days I didn't think I would hear your voice ever and people told me they weren't sure if you would say more then one word at a time but you worked so hard and now your a great talker. If you could learn to talk and write and play nice with your friends, I promise you, you will learn to draw".
Frankie said ok. I told him we would start working on learning to draw things tomorrow. I asked him what he wanted to learn first and his reply was "I think maybe a star"
He is my star and tomorrow I will show him how to draw one <3