Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fill in the blank: "What I like most about me is ..."

Over the weekend I helped my son, Evan, complete his second grade homework assignment for an "All About Me" project. It's his week to be the "star" of the class. While he's a superstar in my heart, he hasn't been a star in the world of academics. Recently, the school psychologist confirmed what I had suspected all along, a learning disability that was most likely dyslexia combined with ADHD. Spelling, reading, and even math are a struggle for Evan. Homework is like climbing Mt. Everest. No wonder when he came to this sentence on his All About Me page, "My favorite school subject is ...," he answered, "recess"!

We filled in the blanks for the rest of the "All About Me" page together. I helped him spell out the names of family members and his favorite food, "meatballs".  Then came the last sentence to be completed:

"What I like most about me is ..." 

Evan thought for a long while. I knew what I liked most about him, his smile, his deep laugh, his warm hugs, his supercool, retro-looking glasses, his love of nature, the way he cares about other's feelings especially his twin sister's. I thought about telling him all these things and more. For some reason, I kept quiet. I'm so glad I did.

When Evan finally answered, it was perfect. "My brain."

So, on the line that followed, "What I like most about me is ...", he wrote, "my brain." And, you know what? I agree with him. I like his brain, too. I like his sense of curiosity, the way he wonders about things I never give a second thought and his wild imagination. Certainly, there are times I could do without being the pet owner of tree frogs. And, I might tire from asking Google crazy questions like where's the deepest part of the ocean. Plus, it can get a bit precarious trying to determine which of his stories actually happened and which ones he completely made up. But I wouldn't have it any other way with Evan. That curious, imaginative brain of his keeps life interesting - that's for sure!

Evan may have a label that states disability, but to me (and I'm happy to say to him), it's more like a special ability. Heck, I read that the brain of a person with dyslexia is larger. Not to mention, the list of famous and successful people that are or were believed to be dyslexic. Evan's favorite is Albert Einstein. Of course, despite these facts, I'm not naive. I know traditional in-the-box academics will be a challenge. But it's my hope that Evan becomes stronger because of it. His brain is unique. And, best of all, Evan knows it and he feels good about it.

October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month.
 For more information, please visit:  The International Dyslexia Association

Now, it's your turn to fill in the blank.

"What I like most about me is ..."

Comment here or on my Facebook Page!

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