Tonight’s dinner was just me and Son Number Two.

I asked him how school was going. He mentioned he talked to his teacher about changing class. He seemed put out by the fact that he’d probably have to stay in her class. I found it puzzling since he has always liked his teacher.
“Why do you want to change class? are you angry with your teacher?”
“no, just disappointed” [he meant disappointed in the outcome. he missed my real question]
“You really want to change class, I see that. Is it because of Ms King?”
“Oh! no…”
“okay, do you like the other class better?”
“no, I don’t know..” [he’s flustered, I asked a question that requires subjective judgement but its bears an assumption that isn’t true so he has no answer]
“oh, you haven’t been in another class?”
“no”
“oh, okay. Is there a friend you want to be with? in another class?”
“maybe” [he has to remember who his friends are and whether they are in a class he wants to be in but he hasn’t noted other people’s class outside of his, and which friend am I taking about?]
“okay. you just want to leave Ms King’s class.”
“yes. I don’t like it there”
“you don’t? Do you like Ms King?”
“yes, but I don’t like my class” [he means his classmates]
“is someone bothering you?”
“everybody bothers me” [he’s annoyed now,remembering how bothered he is. that means its general, not specific]
“what do they do?” [he looks at me space-eyed] “the people in your class bother you because…”
“because they are always loud and bugging me and they’re Autistic”
“they’re autistic?”
“yes!”
“but, Son, you’re autistic”
“No I’m not!” [surprise, mild affront]
“yes you are. we talked about this. Son Number Three’s talked about it. Its not bad”
“its not bad”
“no, its different. Remember, SNTh went to visit his friend and he talked about being autistic. Its okay. Its not bad its different.”
“oh. Its not bad!”
“no, its different. It just means your brain works differently”
“uh huh” [he is not really listening now. he’s processing]
“Yes, SNTh has it too. It’s okay. It means there are some things that are hard for you to do. Like talking… and reading…. and saying the right thing to people..”
“but not singing”
“right. there are some things you do really well, better than most people like drawing”
“and singing”
“yes and singing” [okay so that is embellishment. he’s my son, i’m allowed]
“BUT if you want to be a singer, like you keep talking about, you NEED to learn to read.”

Thus ensues a very nice discussion about his advancements in reading skills. He becomes animated and interested. The topic of Autism is no longer important nor does it bother him. Its all worked out in his mind. Things degenerated a tad when I brought up Aspergers “ass-burgers?” “no, asPERgers” “oh” [smirk] He’s a teenager. He’s allowed to smirk at a funny name still.

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