In a previous post, I mentioned a student who refused to come to art and instead sat in the hallway with his face in his knees. I had his class again yesterday, and to my delight, he came right into the room! I closed the door to prevent escape attempts, and was pleased to see him participate in class, even completing the assignment with just as much skill as an average kindergartner.
His classmates in his kindergarten class have really impressed me. Last week, instead of making fun of him or saying anything mean, I kept hearing excuses for him: "he's shy" or "he's scared." This week, the other kindergartners were very excited to show him his seat. They really are a great bunch of kids, and I love how warm and welcoming they have been to the "new kid" (even though they have only been in school 3 days longer than he has).
Today, that student's class had music while I was in my room preparing next week's lessons. I stepped into the hallway, and was surprised to find a little boy leaning against the wall by my door! Of course it was our little escape artist. I encouraged him to go into the music room, but after he refused several times, I invited him into my room. I let him doodle on my chalkboard, and I was pleased to see him practice drawing the different kinds of lines we worked on in art yesterday, without any prompts from me.
I have not yet heard if he got tested for autism, but at least his art skills are right where they should be for a kindergartner. I know he is still struggling in many other areas, but I think he and I are friends now, and I will be expecting everyone to be present in my Thursday kindergarten class from now on.