Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh what a change

In late September of second grade, David changed, and not for the better. Here was a kid who, though autistic, was in many ways far ahead of the rest of the class. David had been able to add with carry, subtract with borrow, knew multiplication tables and was emerging with division. He knew negative numbers. He had been a prodigious speller, in that he would see a word and just know how to spell it. All of that dissappeared. If David wanted to add past five, he had to use his fingers. Spelling became a struggle for him, though he was able to keep up with the rest of the class.

It was one of the hardest times of his and consequently my life. I had been advised that sometimes learning disabled children forget what they learned. But when they do, they should relearn what they lost with the same facility that they had learned before. David had absorbed math and spelling like a sponge without any intervention required. He was not relearning what he had lost. It was clear in my mind. Something changed with David. I just did not know what. The math and the spelling ability were a part of him. David had lost it and he knew it.