My third grade students were standing in a nice quiet line on the sidewalk in front of the restrooms. We had just finished recess and were taking our restroom break before heading back to class. All rooms in this school opened to the outside, so my class was waiting in the hot Mississippi sun for the last little boy to finish up and come out. That was Michael.
Michael was a beautiful child, small, perfect – his personality and voice hidden too often by the autism that took over his brain. He was taking awhile. I knew he was out when my entire class shouted, “Whoa!” and spun their bodies away from the bathroom doors.
Michael, apparently, had done the typical third-grade boy thing and pulled down pants, underwear, and all without unbuckling anything. Then his post-recess sweaty little body wouldn’t allow him to pull them back up.
So he just….well…came out.
I swooped over and pushed him ahead of me back into the bathroom. Standing behind him, my fingers in his belt loops, my eyes diverted, I encouraged Michael to unbuckle his belt and I would help him heave.
He was making little grunting noises, I was having visions of parental lawsuits and my waiting class going bananas outside while trying to patiently encourage. We pulled and grunted for awhile, his little body shifting and twisting. And then the miracle happened: Michael spoke the first full sentence I heard him say that entire year. All the noises and movements stopped suddenly, and Michael said:
“I thtuck.”
Normally, I walked behind my classes on the sidewalk to make sure my little duckies are in a row. That day, I walked in front. I’m sure they wondered why my shoulders were shaking. And I’m sure anyone who saw my face wondered if I was laughing or crying.


5 thoughts on “Tickle Me Tuesday

  1. I have two fragile X boys that have autism traits so I know what you mean the unexpected is always expected and if JJ would ever say anything I would probably just fall over and Brian talks but doesnt spealk clear so Iam always repeating loudly what he just said in a way sounds some what natural because Iam afraid someone is going to come over and tell me off for teaching my children such words. and neither care who sees them naked they just want assistance. Love them

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