Front and Center!
These two creatures who have locked up my heart will be front and center in this little corner of blogosphere!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Wednesday evening Connor was inducted into the Junior National Honor Society at Rice Middle School. Only a year ago we would have never imagined this event for him. Due to his having Pediatric Bipolar Disorder and High Functioning Autism he has been, for 4 years, in a BSU (Behavioral Structured Unit) in the elementary and now middle school he attends.
The school setting has never been a comfort zone for this child (excuse me...YOUNG MAN) as he was easily frustrated and such an outsider when it came to his peers. It wasn't until he was in about 4th grade that the developmental differences (due to his Autism) really made us realize how significant the gap between Connor and his peers really was. Social Skills are still an uncomfortable and difficult landscape for him to navigate. Progress in this realm is still in the baby-step stage.
Over this past summer Connor began to mature and grow. As he hit the magic teenage milestone his voice had changed and puberty began to set in. He's taller than both his mom and me. And, he began to blossom academically in spite of himself.
His teachers (our heroes!) gently moved him into several "out" classes, and there will be more next year. Suddenly, the boy that hated school and had no motivation to even be in the classroom setting began to actually care about his grades and become more frustrated when he didn't make the grade he wanted than when he had to 'work'. He is now able to do homework without major meltdowns (for the most part) and he has discovered (surprise, surprise) he likes much of what he's learning. School is no longer a battle ground.
There are still struggles, and he's by no means ready to be tossed into the general education arena totally or without safety nets and life preservers. Perhaps that day will come. Right now he's stable and it's the Autism quirks that give him the most trouble. Most of his moodiness is more the puberty bugaboo than bipolar related. This is major progress.
So, what a proud family we were when we watched him be recognized for his academic achievements this week! It's been a long and difficult struggle to reach this milestone in his academic and personal life. We're looking forward to the coming challenges and progress as he continues to navigate the remainder of his academic years.
Congratulations Connor Reeves!! We love you and we're beaming with pride!