When Aspergers meets miracles
peace for my son
This was one of the worse school years for my son. He had to prepare for four state regents exams. He was miserable almost every single day. It is amazing how professionals cannot comprehend the stress they have placed upon their students. Since their superiors have made everything "all about the test", educators have been piling their stress upon the students who are basically held captive. Their success is extremely important to educators since the bosses have decided that students who do not score well have poor teachers. Of course we in the education field are aware that often there are many other factors such as the environment the student lives in, learning abilities and motivation.
My son has Asperger Syndrome. He is very intelligent, but lacks social skills and coping abilities. He has an anxiety level that can go from zero to one hundred very quickly. Now add into this mix the four state exams he had to take AND pass this year. The most difficult was the math exam. He had to take Trigonometry which he found very trying and could not seem to wrap his mind around it. We spent many nights listening to him cry and proclaim that he did not care if he failed he just could not understand it. He went to tutoring and review classes. His teacher gave him a great deal of attention, but it never seemed to truly sink in for him.
During this period, he was working on his sacraments in the Catholic church. We had put them off and not had him receive them at the traditional ages of 8 and 13 until now at age 15 when we felt he was ready. In the final days of preparation for the sacraments, we spent two hours in church with the kind young priest and the other candidates. At the end of this meeting, my son went to reconciliation, a meeting with the priest to discuss all he felt he needed forgiveness and assistance with. I told my son that this might be a good opportunity to ask the priest for suggestions of how he could be calmer during his big exams that he was going to have to face very soon. My son eagerly met with the priest and came to me peaceful and comforted. He said he now knew what he had to do.
The next day he was very calm in school. For the remainder of the week I received excellent reports from his teachers. The day came for him to receive his First Holy Communion and make his confirmation. He was very nervous until after he had his turn. From that moment on, a peacefullness came over my son. I know that sounds silly, but it is very true. He has been smiling and calm ever since. He chose the saint name Jude, the patron saint of desperate causes. He has decided that St. Jude watches over him and guides him through the decisions he makes. I am okay with this because it comforts my son and allows him to not feel so isolated in his heart and mind. I am grateful that he has found such strength in his faith.
The day of the Trigonometry regents came and was a dreadful day for our son. He cried and was very anxious during the test, but got through it well. He was permitted to take his small St Jude statue with him since he took the test in a room alone and not with other students (religious items are frowned on in public schools these days). His paraprofessional told him to think of St Jude as the patron saint of trigonometry for the day. It made my son smile and got him through. The next day he took his chemistry exam and all four of these tests were over. You would think someone lifted a weight off his shoulders. He has been smiling ever since.
The the best news of all! He had passed all four exams even the dreaded Trigonometry which so many other students had failed. He was done with Math state exams for the rest of High school! Happy day! Our son has been smiling every day and if you know anything about Aspergers you would know that this is not always easy for them. He is relaxed and at peace. He received communion proudly at mass this sunday and has told us that he feels happier and more content since the day he made his sacraments. I think he needed to know that there was something greater than us to turn to if he felt scared or worried. A place to leave your fears and worries. To him, it is a source of peace, to us it is somewhat of a miracle.