I have a boy in my class who is a definate English Language Learner (ELL we call ’em). So he’s got some language issues. But he’s a pretty good reading, one of the highest in my class. But I’ve noticed something lately. When I talk with them he looks off another way. And sometimes I see him do odd things/movements with his hand. In short, he sometimes acts like a child with Autism.
Now for sure, I am no expert! But I have had about 5 Autistic kids in my class, plus my wife’s nephew, so I do have some experience. And I’m telling you, at times he seems to be a little on the spectrum, as they say. Just weird hand movements, like it feels good to do it. And his eyes looking away when he’s talking to me.
Just a little odd.
So I was working after school a couple of days ago when my school phone rings. Walking over to the phone, I notice it’s a private phone number, meaning it’s someone the office is transfering to my room. I pick up the phone, and it’s J! Little J! I say, “Hi, J! What’s up?” (I try to sound like I’ve missed him).
He says, “Oh, nothing, Mr. V., I’m just calling to say hi.”
I couldn’t believe it. So I engage him in conversation to see if there is really some reason why he calls, but nope. He just wants to chat. So I remind him that he still has one of our school library books, and I ask him if he can find it and have his mom bring it back to our school. He said sure, but I know we’ll never see that book again.
It’s amazing that a kid who drove me crazy would call to just say hi. He was a student who I had to move away from me because almost everything he did would catch my eye. He’s a kid who probably hated me while he was here, and I couldn’t blame him! Seemed like he was always getting in trouble. He had to of thought that I was picking on him. And at one time he told me, in an angry tone, that he hated school and didn’t want to be here.
But he calls to say hi.