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Chess Club Update

Posted Sep 20 2008 12:00am

After the phone call when the boys had a rough day in chess club, we talked to them about whether they wanted to continue going or not. Cuddlebug wanted to keep going and promised to improve his behavior. Bearhug decided it wasn't really for him so he is no longer going.

The following week, Cuddlebug came home angry. It took a lot of Q&A to get enough details to piece together what happened and why he was upset (most of it at least), and I won't write out the whole conversation, but it turns out that a girl kept knocking his pieces over and that several kids were laughing at him. He wasn't sure why they were laughing, other than because the girl kept knocking his pieces over. He didn't know the girl's name.

I sent an email to both the guy in charge of the chess club and the parent volunteer who had called me the week before, letting them know what he'd told me. I asked if they could shed any light on what happened, and how they handle situations like this. The parent volunteer and his wife called me back, they hadn't seen the incident although the wife said he'd told her he was angry but wouldn't say why. She also said he didn't seem angry, but I told her that because of his autism, sometimes he doesn't sound emotional but he is inside. For example, he can say he's angry and mean it, but his voice sounds very calm and almost monotone. That's not always the case, sometimes he goes into rage and there's no question as to whether he's angry, so I'm proud of him that he didn't do that in this case.

I also called his resource teacher because Cuddlebug was convinced that she was there after school and that if he needed to he could go to her room. I wasn't so sure, but as it turns out he was right (I shouldn't have doubted, I know). She said she tutors students after school so she is still there if he needs to go to her room and she was fine with that. She rocks! A couple of days later, she sent me a note and said she thinks the girl may have been knocking down Cuddlebug's chess pieces as she captured them during a chess match. I hadn't thought of that, it makes sense. Cuddlebug seems to be over it at this point, he's been practicing with the chess computer game we got him (recommended by the chess teacher), and he's getting the hang of it. :)

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