Saturday, December 20, 2008

Alex's school party

I volunteered to help at Alex's school party on Friday. I read the story. It was fun, and interesting to see what goes on in the classroom. This photo shows one of the positive things from the party. The kids were paired at random. The pairs had to link arms, and use one right hand and one left hand to wrap a present. Everyone had fun. Alex's partner was good at telling him what to do, and cheated and used her right hand when he was too slow. They are trying to work a tape dispenser in the photo. They finished the task. Reading the story was fun, and Alex was happy that I was there.

The down side... The second game they played involved filling out a bingo sheet. You had to find someone in the room with glasses on, or with blond hair, or who had a cat, etc. etc. and have them sign your form. Once you had a bingo it was over. The room was chaos. All the kids running around a screaming at each other. Two kids didn't participate at all, and no one stepped forward to help them. The child with down syndrome, and you guessed it, Alex. The other kids just didn't notice them. No one came to ask Alex if he had a cat. No one asked if he had ever been to California... It was hard to watch. I'm sure this happens to every special needs child over and over again, in the best of schools. But it hurts Alex. Joseph doesn't care. Alex cares. We spend a lot of time and effort trying the teach Joseph social skills. Maybe he is better off not being very social. Craving social interaction gets Alex a world of hurt.

No comments: