In the last post I said Dustin was reading. Jo, who has a "special" boy as well, asked in the comments what he was doing. Her "little man" has the same IQ as Dustin. Reading is a struggle for these kiddos!
I must admit that people who don't live in the world of special needs have no idea what a joy it is to see your 13 year old reading the following "story". . .
Brad needs butter. The store is closed. He will have to wait until tomorrow to go to the store.
This is the type of reading Dustin is doing. In the classroom he is far more able to read this "story" sentence. At home it may take him about 10 minutes to get through it. Dustin compartmentalizes his world. Things he learns at school sometimes stay at school and things learned at home don't always carry over to school. I think that is also why he can act like a stark-raving lunatic at home and have a "SUPER" behavior day at school within about 20 minutes of one another. Never the twain shall meet. . . Brings a whole new meaning to what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas . . .
Other than these types of stories, Dustin can read about 300-500 (depending on the day) functional literacy words. Mostly street signs; directional words like push, pull or in and out; and grocery words. He can read the word TUNA in any font you could possibly have. Their main focus is getting him to be somewhat self-sufficient, which is a lonnnnng way off. We take the little victories, because for Dustin they are huge!
It has become increasingly more difficult to help Dustin understand why his brother is passing him in these developmental mile markers. Harrison began reading at age 3 1/2 and is now reading comic books, chapter books, websites, and even the newspaper and comprehends most. His reading and comprehension measures at a third grade level. He can do math that surpasses Dustin. I would love to have his IQ checked because I have been told he definitely has one that is "up there" in the genius range. It would be interesting.
I rejoice that finally Dustin is cognoscente enough to recognize these differences, but I mourn for and with Dustin as this hurts him. We are careful to praise Dustin for what he can do, and always caution Harrison not to make Dustin feel badly about his own accomplishments. It is a game of balance.
Seventeen years, seventeen stories.
5 hours ago