My son, the writer – SOL 11/25/14

I am still in a bit of disbelief about the words in the title. As would be expected because of his Asperger’s, my son has always hated writing. In fact, we’ve had to have various discussions with his teachers about his most negative behaviors manifesting as a result of writing: an assignment, having to brainstorm a topic, or even having to explain his thoughts about how to solve a problem in math (and he LOVES math) in writing. He would have a meltdown, shut down, or say he was not a good writer.

Until this year. He has actually always been a good writer. His ideas are definitely inspired by video games. But he can track multiple characters over the course of eight or so pages. His story lines, while sometimes hard to follow, are still there. His dialogue is funny. But this year, he didn’t put up a “fight” for nearly as long as he had in previous years when he was assigned writing. Getting to use Google docs and sharing his writing with myself and peers has seemed to add to his interest in writing. Actually, making it a bit of a competition (with himself and a goal, not with other students), such as through NaNoWriMo, encouraged him to write 5009 words (5000 is the goal he set for himself), in over 59 chapters (some are very short). He submitted his essay earlier today.

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Additionally, he is completing a passion project. This requires that he actually have his own blog and write about his own topic. You will laugh, but his passion is Pi. He is composing a multi-modal piece about what he loves: math.

I attribute these writing successes and his seeing himself more as a writer to his teachers allowing him to have complete choice during writing. He has found his voice, as well, with the help of technology. As an aside, it gives those of us who know him a very interesting glimpse into his beautiful mind.

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12 thoughts on “My son, the writer – SOL 11/25/14

  1. Bravo!
    I have found a number of my reluctant writers emerge as writers during our own video game design unit, and it turns out, quite a few write in fanfiction and gamefiction sites, too.
    Pretty cool …
    Kevin

  2. What an important message to teachers to recognize the value in all forms of writing, and a great reminder of the power of choice, both in topic and form. Thanks for sharing, Aileen. And Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. This is such an accomplishment. Kudos to your son, his teachers and you. Sharing his story is so important. We need to see the power that choice and technology gives to beautiful minds like your son’s that do not (thankfully otherwise how boring life would be) in fit the school box.
    Julieanne

  4. Aileen, this is such a wonderful Slice, and such a tribute to your son. I hope this newly found interest in writing continues… I have a feeling it is going to. Very exciting. I hope we get to read some of his stuff. 🙂

    Also, it was a true pleasure meeting you this weekend at NCTE. I’m so glad to be a part of this community and to know educators like you.

  5. Love this – it is so important to provide choice, voice, purpose and audience. He seems to have all of these. We will certaintly share these ideas with the teachers we meet. It was so special to read this piece after spending time getting to know you. Keep writing – you have so much to share.
    Clare

  6. So glad you son found his voice. This shows what can happen when we give students the opportunity to write about what they are passionate about and not what we think their topic should be.

    I enjoyed meeting you and talking with you at dinner Saturday night. It is always nice to be able to put a face with a name.

  7. Thanks for showing me the way to the first timers breakfast and letting me join you and your friend. And then you realized that we were fellow slicers! I love this post, but even more because I heard about your son’s experience with NaNoWriMo as we visited during the conference. I’m so glad he has found his voice. I found mine here at TWT.

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