On Making Thank You Cards

Tomorrow is the last day of 2012/2013 school year.  This evening, Robert and I made cards for his teachers and his schoolmates. Since drawing is very hard for Robert, I decided to cut some  geometrical forms from colored paper and let Robert make pictures out of them.  He got the hint, and soon he started drawing and cutting those forms by himself.  He arranged them to make a tent under a tree, a sailboat on the water, mountains with foothills in front, kites, sun, grass, rainbow, and-the hardest- palm tree.   On each card he wrote teachers’ or friends’ name.  He wished his friends to have a great summer and he thanked his teachers for their work. As he finished placing cards in the envelopes, he seemed happy and proud.  After all, he fulfilled a new kind of  responsibility. Responsibility we have toward those with whom we spent time together and  share the space, experiences, learning, work, and food. The responsibility to communicate. Robert  was proud of making so many pictures.  It took him almost three hours.  But  he loved  writing names and wishes on the cards and,  even more, he enjoyed writing names on the envelopes.

Were his emotions caused by discovering  a way to communicate with his schoolmates and teachers?  After all, he never initiates any conversation.  Without prompts he never tells anything.  But he carries those shapeless thoughts all the time, unable to let them out, as words don’t come to help.

That is why the fact that he could write almost mechanically the same phrase, “Have a great summer.”  is much more important than it seems.

How important was it for Robert to write, “Thank you for teaching.”?

I know Robert likes going to school.  I deduce he likes his teacher and his aide.  I think he has learned to appreciate the help he gets while learning new skills at one of the job sites.  I suspect, he notices the support he gets while navigating new situations.

Is he grateful?  I think he is.  I think he is more appreciative than many typical students are toward their educators.  That is why he was so pleased with all those words he enclosed in envelopes addressed to his teachers and classmates.