Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day Twenty - Special

I met the most remarkable young man today at school. He attended the middle school across town, not mine, so I have not worked with him before. He will be entering the high school in the fall. Dez* (*all names in this blog are changed for privacy) was delighted to meet me, and interested in telling me his "life story". He was born in Armenia, and knows nothing of his birth parents. He has created elaborate stories of who they might have been - his theory is his mom was not married and was a heavy drinker, which caused him to be born missing his right hip and leg. He was left in an orphanage, where his "wonderful, fantastic parents came and found him when he was three" (his words!).  I asked him how his parents knew that he was to be their son; he responded "I am blessed...I think Heaven brought them to me...I am so lucky! They wanted the kid with the one leg and one hip!"
We went on to talk about his diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, which he does not believe that he has. We talked about ways that Asperger's could be a blessing, instead of something to fight against. He has great empathy, and can see other people's perspectives...he has benefited from all the pragmatic development that he has had.

He also talked about his successes as a basketball player, lacrosse player, skier, and wrestler; he wants to play freshman basketball next year. He is a mad lover of all things weather-related, and shared with me some amazing graphs he created to document different weather events that have occurred recently.

He has the most beautiful smile and engaging manner. He is funny and empathetic, and truly sees his glass as overflowing with gratefulness, joy, and opportunity.

I am moved to tears by this wonderful young man! How blessed am I to be able to meet and work with young people like Dez!

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