27 February 2008


From:that frolicsome kid
To:Whom this may concern
Date:27 February 2008, 22:00
Subject: Busy Busy Bee  

So much things have happened over these past few days. On Monday, my mom and that hypocritical "bossy" friend have annoyed me to a point of no return, and my mood was extremely foul for that entire day. It was one of the worst days of my life.

Anyway, on a happier note, the CAS element of IB has given me a wonderful insight into children. Although I would have been exhausted after a really long day of school, I enjoyed playing with them! Seriously, they are so awesome. I'm quite proud of myself for being involved in their lives and enriching their childhood, especially the autistic kid I'm taking care of. Let's call him Dane. Last Friday, when Dane was going home, her mother confided with me about Dane's sad situation in his school.

As Dane's friend, I noticed that unlike other kids, he is extremely smart and he sees the world in an entirely different perspective compared to other kids. He is naturally inquisitive, and very chatty! =D It wasn't until my crush asked me whether he was a prodigy when his mother told me about Dane's high intelligence. I reflected on her words and realised that he could be one. However, his enthusiasm for knowledge scares off other kids his age, and his mom told me he was always bullied in school.

I flashed back and remembered the time when Dane told me he was bullied in his school. I didn't think too much about it (stupid me!) because I thought maybe his friends were just having a day of fun. I was a bit concerned, but I didn't raise that concern to his mom. Oh man, I am mad with myself for keeping quiet! >.<

Anyway, his mom on Friday confirmed that it is a recurring problem. Dane has no real friends in school at all, and I thought, how can children be so cruel to someone who is different? =( He did have a friend once, but he has since moved to our school. So his mom began to thank me for taking good care of Dane, because I was not only helping him to overcome his autism, I was also his only friend. I was in shock, because I thought Dane has a few friends in school.

She then told me that Dane was struggling in school. I looked at her with wide eyes and questioned that possibility. I mean, he was a very bright and chatty fellow when we were playing together in my school playground. From the way he spoke, he obviously was very intelligent. And I came to learn a shocking truth.

When Dane is "overwhelmed" (I forgot her exact words), his brain begins to shut down, and he is unable to complete his schoolwork for the whole day. And he will begin to act strangely and misbehave. And his teachers did not know how to deal with him. My interpretation is he was even ignored by his teachers, because they didn't know how to deal with him. I was steaming! How can they NOT KNOW how to handle him? They can't just ignore him, because his problems won't go away. She told me that out of 5 school days, he can only concentrate in school for 2 days. The rest... well, wasn't really productive.

I can't imagine the situation, because so far, Dane is just like any other nice kid, if you discount his peculiarities (which I really don't find peculiar at all). Off the top of my head, I can list some. As the playground is fenced, whenever the bouncy ball goes outside the playground, he begins to get uncomfortable and he requested me to bring the ball back in. And then, whenever he plays with the ball, he talks to the ball, asking it to come back. Despite my encouragement, he doesn't want to try the monkey bars. And of course, he doesn't make eye contact whenever he talks. His eyes wander everywhere but my eyes.

And I'm not really bothered by those, actually. If I didn't know he is autistic, I could have mistaken him as an ordinary, bright kid.

Anyway, I probably couldn't understand the difficulties the teachers faced as well when dealing with Dane as he wasn't in his best, and I haven't seen him at his worse time too. So erm, yeah...

You know, when Dane's mother mentioned that I'm his only true friend, I cannot help but feel really happy and important too. I have never felt important before, and I was really touched by her words and Dane's sincerity whenever we meet and have fun. I mean, I never imagined myself to be important in anyone's life at all! I'm like, wow! =O =D It makes me really happy, because I have at least a real purpose to exist. To make someone's life better. =)

Making a difference. I like it... Wow!

Man, I so love Dane! =D


On another matter, I feel as days pass by, I am getting closer and closer to this wonderful girl who is my close friend in school. Let's call her Miss Klutzy! ;) Yeap, I really like Miss Klutzy. Like on Monday when I got angry with my mom, she calmed me down by saying that my mom was looking out for me, and she was just doing her job. And I'm like, why am I so blinded by anger as to not see more than just the nagging? She's sincere, she's nice, she's pretty, she's awkward and she is so far from the woman of my dreams. But her personality, oh my, I fell in love with it! So full of love and happiness. And for a few days when we chatted online, we found out that we have a lot of common in our teenage angsts. The thing being she experienced it first because she is about 2 years my senior.

At first, her age kind of bothered me. I always thought a couple is an older man with a younger woman (to compensate men's late maturity =P). As time passes, it didn't bother me anymore because love knows no boundaries. LOL! I just hope that somehow, we will be more than just friends. But I'm keeping things slow for now. I don't want to set myself up for another disappointment, yet!

I have to stop here. It's getting late, and I have not finished my Theory of Knowledge assignment on writing a Maths poetry. Maths isn't my strong calibre, and I have zero interest in Maths. Not to mention our current Maths substitute teacher is bad beyond bad. I start to despise Maths now. I want our Maths teacher back. Never mind that she have just given birth! =P Hahaha!


Anyway, Model United Nations conference is coming up this weekend. I am extremely excited! =D I have prepared everything except tackling the flaws in my resolution, writing a speech supporting my resolution and printing out my online resources. I can't wait! However, I have difficulty countering points of information people shoot me. And I fear them because I always give illogical answers. I always answer in broken English because of my nervousness. *embarrassed* And thanks to nervousness, my brain conveniently decides to shut down, and I start to lose control. =( And the last time I participated in this, participants have been extremely mean and hypercritical. It was so depressing, because they don't even give a newcomer a chance to recuperate. =S

Comments (25):

> So his mom began to thank me for taking good care of Dane, because I was not only helping him to overcome his autism, I was also his only friend.

~~~~

He sounds very much like my kid, "high-functioning" enough that he's going to give you the impression that he's "normal", like other regular kids. I think the fact that he's a bright child is bound to complicate this impression even further, but you did notice some of the signs. The lack of eye contact, his nervousness/anxiety with the ball going over the fence, and some insight with his "shutdown" that occurs when he's feeling overwhelmed.

It seems like my son's school is more proactive in comparison but yeah - same kind of issue, where i'm now in the position of needing to follow up with alternative options (homeschooling, other schools, support groups, other activities outside of school to encourage productive interaction with other kids, contact with the team at the hospital to check in with resources that can help etc)

His only "FRIEND" ~ that's what my kid needs, he needs contact with other like-minded people who can relate to him as you did with Dane - and i'm not sure that school is the ideal environment for this.

At this stage, i really don't know if having more friends like this will ever make my son "overcome" autism - but i do know it's going to help his morale.

If you experienced strong rapport with this child, you have the power to have a significantly positive impact on his life by just being his "friend". A person in his life who can simply appreciate him as he is. You can clearly see just how far his giftedness has potential, while many others in his life will not be able to deal with or tolerate his "peculiar manerisms" that will be sending this child so many signals that he's a misfit.

Thanks for this post - even it's conincidental nature is enough for me to feel confident about keeping my kid at home for another day today, whilst i finish this cup of coffee to then call the school to make an appointment to check-in with the teachers.

Hey R'acquel! Just this afternoon, Dane asked me what is overload, and whether I know how to make robots. I told him I don't know how to make robots, but I explained to him about what an electric overload means. And I was very impressed with his vocabulary. And he's 7!

Yeah, checking out those alternative options will be beneficial to your son's development. Lol, I wish you were in my country, so that my friends and I can play with your son and relate to him, and help him at the same time! =P

I am proud of myself that I am involved in Dane's betterment, so that I can go home and reflect that I have made a difference in someone's life. And it puts a smile to my face! It definitely helps! I've seen Dane opening himself up more to me, and he is also interacting with my friends, befriending them and even talking to other kids as well! =)

I really hope the appointment went well. I love to hear from you soon! =)

Dane's sounding exactly like Aidan now - he's the same with big words for a 6.666yo ;) Aidan was asking about how plants made oxygen the other day and i felt like an idiot for forgetting how the process of photosynthesis works, so i'm sure Dane must've gotten a lot out of your speil on overloaded circuits. I wish we were there so Aidan could play with Dane too.

Aidan needs more friends like Dane. We're making the start on support groups for people in the area next week, so there's good progress and i know we'll get there with time.

I would like to make contact with Dane's mum if it's not too socially awkward (I have no idea if she speaks english etc..) Please feel free forward her my email address to contact me.

Off to catch up on the rest of your blog now, so take care ;)

Forgot to mention - I'm sure Aidan's asked us the same question on what an overload is and he's very much into the whole building robot thing over here too ;D

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