It’s Been Quite A School Year (#311)

I was at a red light waiting to drive onto the on-ramp to the Broadway entrance of the Pulaski Skyway when I realized I had a voice mail on my cell phone, and that the call was from Charlie’s school: The bus driver was caught in traffic and the bus was over a half-hour late, and the red schoolbus did not appear on our sidewalk until 3.45pm. Charlie’s ABA therapist had gotten to our house just before I had and had gone upstairs to prepare for the session; he waved “hi Charlie!” from the second floor window.
Charlie glanced up, grinned with a broad glint in his eyes, and ran to look into the windows of the therapist’s car before running into the house.

I had not heard my cell phone ring when Charlie’s teacher called because I had set the ringer to “silent.” This is a recent practice for me: Back in September, I included a “disclaimer” on the syllabi for the college courses I teach, that I had to leave my cell phone on during class in the event that the school nurse called to inform me that Charlie had head-banged (several times) and that “ice was applied.” The nurse had been calling me regularly a few times a week, at least, for the past year, and I had become accustomed to glancing warily at my phone when her phone number appeared on the caller ID.

Charlie still head-bangs; he is not “cured” of it. But he is more and more in control of it and of what to do when he is anxious, as his teacher wrote to me earlier this week. They can see him feeling a worry coming on–as his shoulders tense and his face muscles get rigid–and stim-talk himself down, and become engaged in the next thing.


“Hat! Ears! Hands! Shhhooooos. Bllllocks. Teddy bear.”
On Monday Charlie’s home speech therapist noted to me that he can say single words crystal clear. It’s the phrases and sentences–“whole new world,” “I want earn play,” “Gingerbread Boy“–that get slurred together.

Charlie can say single words clear as you and me.

I remembered this as Charlie did speech with his other speech therapist tonight and spoke so clearly, looked at me so directly, I had to smile. I had remembered this earlier after I saw I had that voice mail from Charlie’s teacher as I was driving home, thinking about the final exams for my classes.

It has been quite a school year.

One Response to “It’s Been Quite A School Year (#311)”
  1. Hsien Lei says:

    Indeed! And I hope each school year gets better and better for all of you. 🙂

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