Happy Asperger’s Feet

I’ve been the third grade leader in AWANAS for several years now. Third graders have been my favorite age group ever since I taught 3rd Grade in Prague years ago.
One of the new kids in my class recently introduced himself, “Hello, my name is ___and I have asperger’s. It is a form of autism.”

Usually I ignore the labels kids give me, because in the past some have used them as an excuse for why they should have extra helps for their memory verses and I want to see what they are capable of before I make exceptions.

But this little guy doesn’t need any help. He has a phenomenal memory and is more articulate than many adults I know. While the rest of the class was running around getting ready for the night he brought a serious question that seemed to have been plaguing him.
“Do people choose careers because it is in a field they have talent? Or because it is something they want to do?”
I thought for a moment and told him, “Usually because it is something they want to do. But you cannot always do what you want, for example: someone might want to play baseball–but you have to have lots of talent to do it for a career.”
He was deflated. So I waited to hear what upset him.
“I want to be an inventor.” He said. “But I am really good at tap dance.”
Of course I told him he needed to invent a new kind of tap dance shoes. But then I asked him about his lessons.
“Oh, I’ve never had lessons. I found out I was really good at the theater–when I watched Happy Feet.” Then he walked away, made sure I was watching out of the corner of his eye, and danced a few steps to prove his talent.
I think next time he introduces himself he should switch to, “Hello my name is___, and I’m really cool.”

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