Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Remembering Lenny and Mel

Lenny and Mel Amazon doesn't have a picture for After-School Confidential
Trying to understand what my son understands when he
reads can be as frustrating for me as many of my questions
about the story are for him. We read another installment
in Kraft’s superlatively silly enfants terrible 
(be sure to pronounce that in French)
Lenny & Mel saga last week.
I thought we both enjoyed and understood the story.
But perhaps a week is a very long time when you are
going to school and studying for standardized tests.
For today when I asked him about it, he wanted to talk about
“confidential” which he thought meant “hall.”  I defined confidential
as secret, and asked him to write what he remembered of
the story. 
He wrote:
“Lenny and Mel: After-School Confidential
I remember that confidential means “secret.””
I threw a small fit. “Don’t you remember anything about
the story?”
Finally I set a timer for three minutes and told him to write whatever
he wanted, but if he didn’t remember something, he would need to 
look at the book until he did.
He wrote this (unedited by either of us) :
“Lenny and Mel had a poetry contest one day.
There came a cool d,adio who was fond of poetry.
He can say stuff like “Yo man!”, and “Cool man!”
Lenny was trying to dream while Mel was around.
That Lenny and Mel story ended the next day after the dream.”
After-School Confidential describes how Lenny and Mel 
“investigate” after school clubs for the school newspaper.
The short chapters, goofy pictures, and general silliness
make this an ideal choice for struggling readers. But -
if that struggling reader is my son he apparently can/will 
ignore the entire framework of the story to focus on 
the elements that interest him: poetry and dreams.
He thinks I share his dreams. Kids with autism frequently 
think you know what they know (theory of mind). If only
I did .  .  .
-Specrum Mom

1 comment:

  1. I've taught a lot of kids on the spectrum in my time, and I wish I had this story when I did. To be able to understand theory of mind so well is the gift of a really understanding mom. Thanks for the entry; I'll definitely be coming back for more! - Wendy Lawrence