Friday, April 28, 2006

The Naturalist Center

The Natural History Museum here in town has an incredible program for kids who want to become student volunteers. Ive written about it before, but I didnt have pictures to share at that time. GM is just in heaven when we are there. He loves everything about it. He has even expressed to me that "The Naturalist Center is helping me with my talking, I used to mummble more, and look at my feet, but Im getting better at talking to people now". For anyone with a child who has Asperger's syndrome you will understand how cool that is. I was telling my Mother that I was equally impressed with his desire to improve it and with his strangely insightful way of describing it. I never pointed that out to him before, accept maybe to "speak up a little, I cant hear you", or something like that.
Anyhow, he takes the whole thing very seriously and he really looks forward to it each time we get to go. I love watching him tell people about it and seeing him feel so proud of something he is doing that is uniquely his. He doesnt do it because all his friends are or because it is the cool thing to do, he does it because it is something he personally thinks is cool and he loves the animals, rocks and minerals so much.

I am really happy with the training topics and how well he is flowing through them. We did a unit on microscopes, Insects and Spiders, Bees, Mammals, Pond Life, Wildflowers, and Reptiles and Amphibians. GM has really enjoyed researching the information with me and so far hasnt hesitated to get out his packet and read through our notes to "study" the information. I was concerned initially that it was too much for his age, but since it is such a strong interest of his, he has taken to it quite well. In fact he has gotten some answers right that I get wrong and has to correct me from time to time. Of course he thinks that is hilarious, as do I.
Recently my Mom and little brother came for a short visit and we got to take them to the Museum and GM got to show them what kinds of things he gets to do and share with them the things he loves about it. This was a big deal to him because my brother is 11, and therefore quite "cool" and interesting to GM. He was really excited to show him all the fun things at the museum and you could tell it really made him feel good to share something with KC (my brother).

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