This is only earthshattering because Oscar has so much trouble writing. The blank page is overwhelming and leads to lots of dawdling, yawning, and crying. When he does get started he has trouble stepping back and describing the bigger picture. His printing is tiny and he erases and erases until each word is perfect. His executive functioning delays really get in the way of organizing paragraphs and his anxiety leads to perserveration about neatness. At one point in October his two aides (job share -- not two at a time!) were joking that Oscar had finally gotten through airport security on the way back east. He was painstakingly writing about each little detail afraid to leave anything out. But at that rate he would never get to the stories he really wanted to tell.
We finally decided to take another approach. First, Ginger (one of his wonderful aides), had him dictate one of his Lake House adventures -- the day the pig escaped at the local zoo. She entered his dictation into the computer then deleted phrases so he could go back and fill in the details by himself. Brilliant! This provided a framework and got Oscar excited about writing. Next, I divided the whole trip into six separate adventures or "chapters" and typed out questions to accompany each chapter. By answering the questions Oscar was writing the story of his vacation. When we removed the questions, the chapters stood alone as separate stories in a larger piece. Oscar then went back, with our help, and expanded and added sensory details. With all of this scaffolding he fell in love with writing and developed confidence in himself as a writer.
So today he proudly sat next to his piece as parents and classmates circulated around the class reading and writing comments to the authors. About halfway through the hour he left his post to recruit more readers. A couple of times I saw him approach one of the other parents and say "So have you read my piece? It's right over there!" Lovely parents that they are, they smiled and headed towards Oscar's piece to read and leave him a comment.
I love the enthusiasm. Just love it.
Here he is, smiling proudly with Ginger.