A note from the school:
"Your child has been chosen as the third grade (school) system winner in the Young Authors' Writing Contest. Your child's entry will advance to the district level. Please fill out the attached form and return to your child's teacher by Wednesday. Congratulations to your child for representing our school in this contest."
I could NOT be more floored by this note brought home by Orangeboy. I had to work really hard not to sound too surprised (although he might not would have noticed) when I asked him, "You wrote an original story? And won?"
I have not gotten to see this story yet. I just HAVE to see it! Orangeboy won't tell me about it. Not because it's a surprise or because he's too modest or because he forgot it - he just won't. Or it could be that he won't tell me for one of those reasons, but I'll never know-because he just won't tell me. He hands me this note and permission form to sign and this is the first I've heard of this.
I NEED to see this story! I'll have to go in and see his teacher and get her to let me read it. I just can't wait until the district contest is over to read it. What did he write about? Why did it win? Did Orangeboy really write an original story?!
Let's review a moment here:
Orangeboy did not start learning English until he was 3 1/2 years old. His vocabulary in his birth country's language seemed to be limited to a few number words and a few food words. It took him a long time to learn to answer and phrase questions. He wouldn't or couldn't answer questions at all for months, and then he slowly began to be able to answer a question if he was given a couple of choices for a response. For example:
"Would you like apple or orange? Apple? Orange?"
"Where is your jacket? In your room? Yes or no. In the car? Yes or no."
His receptive language was always much, much better than his expressive language skills. He began to understand simple commands in English from about the second day. "Get your shoes." "Let's go." His expressive language remained limited for awhile and even when he had developed a good vocabulary, his pronunciation was poor and his grammar skills were not so great. He received speech therapy services from preschool through the first semester of third grade. His tendency is to be literal and to prefer facts over fantasy. He doesn't have a lot of interest in childrens' shows and cartoons; although over time he has learned to appreciate Spongebob.
Orangeboy is our numbers guy. Our future math professor or analyst. When given the opportunity to doodle or draw he usually draws grids, mazes, or graphs. He may write down long columns of numbers and add them up in his head. He loves Sudoku.
He is not the child I would have EVER expected to win a writing contest. His older brother was even shocked into silence by this revelation.
"HE? Won?" (silent pause)
"A writing contest?" (longer shocked silence)
Now I have read several books written by authors with autism or Aspergers'; but those were adults writing memoirs or informative books about their lives and/or their situation. Same deal with blogs. There may be some authors on the spectrum who write creative fiction, but I haven't read them yet. Besides, Orangeboy is our literal, numbers guy! How did this happen?!
I MUST READ THAT STORY!!!