So, I have this kid who is diagnosed with Asperger's, which makes him socially awkward. He also tested as highly gifted, which pretty much makes for a nightmare in any school situation. If he is with people of equal level of learning, he is too immature for them. If he is with socially appropriate kids, he's smarter than they are. It makes for a conundrum.
So about a year ago, I decided that I'd like to start a Destination Imagination team. But in typical me-style, I put off thinking about it, mainly because of the work involved.
And this is where the adage about luck being a mixture of preparation and opportunity came in. I got E accepted into Davidson Young Scholars. I didn't quite know what would come of it, but if there was some sort of group that involved social gatherings of gifted kids, I wanted to be part of it. Unfortunately, no one in New England seems to do much with it. However, a DYS moved to my town. And he was in fourth grade, like my son. And his mom and I met and I found she was looking for something for her son to do, the same way I was. So *together* we started a Destination Imagination team in our town, 6 fourth-graders.
I find I really love DI. I like working with kids in situations where I don't have to discipline them, so I like after-school clubs and things like that. With DI, I love how the kids have to come up with the solution to the challenge themselves. And I love how it involves cutting and building and learning and teamwork. It should be ideal for E. Alas, E hates it. But why?
Well, believe it or not, it's because he doesn't know anyone on the team, and he wants to be with his friends. The kids on the team are all from the other elementary school in the district. In some ways, we're a victim of our own success, if the problem is that he has bonded with the kids from his school. :) On the other hand, he will be going to middle school with these kids in 2 years, so it will be good for him to get to know them a little.
And, also, I think he's in a situation he's never been in before--not the smartest one in the room. I think he hates that.
I am pretty sure that once we do the regional competition, he will love DI. The competition sounds like a lot of fun, and I know how to apply food and other treats to make the day a positive experience.
And next year, I will run a separate team just at his school. It's a plan, right?