Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Self Advocacy

My son, not quite 9 1/2, sat in on his first meeting with the school district yesterday.

His mission: to explain in his own words why he wants to ride the big bus.

He did fine; he was understandably nervous, looked to me a few times, and looked relieved when I clarified his position. The director from time to time would glance over at Nic and ask, "Is that correct?"

And Nic would nod vigorously, pleased to be part of the conversation. "That's right," he'd confirm.

The only difference between this time and all the other times I've discussed this with Nic is that there was another adult who is not dad in the conversation.

The end result: we're going to give it a shot. And cross our fingers.

This is Nic's first foray into the conversation about his life plan, but I figured it was relatively safe territory to start. Nic's first act of self advocacy came two years ago, when he punched a bully in the mouth.

This kid had been dogging him since K, and that particular day, he had another kid hold Nic down while he whaled on him.

And Nic hit him in the mouth. And drew blood.

I know the PC response is to be horrified, but I was pleased. Nic would never raise a hand to another kid, but I was so proud of him for having the wherewithal to defend himself. And he sent a crystal-clear message to anyone ever thinking about pulling this stunt on him again.

So, having him sit at the table, his big green eyes taking everything in, listening intently to the conversation (hey, it was all about him!), contributing appropriately, it's clear my handsome little guy is growing up.

Summer playground, meh, he's making it clear that he's tolerating it for my benefit. I think he'll like the program I signed him up for next week better. He's already pretty excited about that.

I think we are going to work the next few weeks on academics. I want him to hit the ground running when school starts.

Because he's already showed me that he is up to snuff on the social skills front...

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