Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I’ve heard about Paulsen’s Hatchet for years as a young adult book popular with boys with Asperger’s. 
Now my boy with PDD-NOS is reading it for school.
He usually starts our reading sessions with reluctance 
(“I’m tired”) 
even if he has not, as he usually has, done several hours of homework before we start. 
His next concern is “how many pages?” 
We’ll read for at least twenty minutes, I tell him.
Recently, however, he sometimes insists we finish the chapter.
 “So you can find out what happens next?” I ask hopefully. 
“Yes. No. So I can finish the chapter.”
He imagined himself as Brian in the early chapters which caused a complete meltdown as thirteen year old Brian 
must land a plane by himself when the pilot dies. 
“When will he not be alone? Which page?” wailed my son. 
The prospect of reading an entire book where the protagonist was alone really troubled him. 
Eventually he calmed down enough for me to tell him that Brian would be rescued at the end of the book. 
All of this was really difficult. But I felt he connected to the material in an important way.
Now we’re back to our usual mode where he reads and cannot answer a simple question right after he’s read. 
I undoubtedly should go back to KWL* but there’s not enough time to do what we do .  .  .
-Spectrum Mom
*KWL - asking the reader before starting "What do you know? What do you want to know?" and after reading
"What have you learned?"
P.S. My boy's wonderful team at school is helping cut down on the homework. Only an hour of it last night. Of course he still said he was tired. He liked that there were eight porcupine quills in Brian's leg because it was chapter eight.

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