Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Negotiator

We had some good news from school this week. On Friday, the mailbox had a postcard addressed to Number One Son. It was a CBG from his school. This was not a recruiting letter from Russian intelligence. A CBG is a 'Caught Being Good' notice. When a student is observed doing the right thing in a difficult situation at school, the witnessing teacher rewards the student with a CBG.

Number One Son's situation happened on the playground during recess. While playing a game, a bunch of kids were arguing with one boy. The teacher said that N1S was trying really hard to convince all of the kids to stop arguing and continue playing. He was then very consoling to the one boy who was ganged up on. The teacher said N1S showed a lot of empathy for the boy. Empathy is one thing we are constantly working on with N1S. We were very proud of him. Kids with Asperger's very often have trouble recognizing an other's point of view. For the last five years, N1S has been slowly improving his ability to recognize social cues to choose appropriate responses. He also has been having improved interactions with some neighborhood boys his age. He no longer is hesitant about initiating play, but he actually takes part and enjoys the games they play together. A couple years ago, these same boys would just walk away when N1S would say something off the mark or play in an unorthodox way. We now feel comfortable letting him go off and join in the group on his own. He still needs a little 'pre-play coaching' once in a while, but it is considerably less than before.

The CBG notice from school was definitely a high point of the week for N1S and us. It says that something is going right in his world. I hope we have a little something to do with that. I know that he deserves most of the credit for his effort. Maybe this will be the first of a long line of CBG's. Even if it isn't, we know that he is working hard and doing his best.

We showed N1S his CBG and asked him for his view of how he handled the situation. He said he saw all of the kids fighting and he told them to stop. He said, "Guys, if you don't stop arguing, you'll lose all of your play time." Very logical. I'm not sure if his empathy was for a friend or for wasting play time.

Either way, we are pleased with N1S's choice of action.


SciFi Dad said...

Good for N1S. Empathy, Asperger's or not, is an important skill to develop, and he seems to be doing just fine. You have a right to be proud of him; I am, and I don't even know your kid.

Darren said...

Way to go, N1S! It's great to get reports like that, isn't it? It even means more than grades...sometimes.

The Father of Five said...

Empathy, and the ability to de-Empathy, and the ability to de-escalate an escalating situation are not only something to be proud of, but a skill and ability that very few people have.

These things will take N1S a long way in life!

You, your wife and N1S should be very happy, and proud of this!

From one dad to another - Congratulations!

Casdok said...

Yes way to go!!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.