Friday, January 7, 2011


Edwin is one of the 6th graders on the top of my secret favorites list for the year. Some of that may have to do with the very limited amount of time I spend with him since he attends mostly mainstream classes and is monitored by my paraprofessional (God bless her).

Though he comes with an ED (Emotional Disorder) label stamped on his forehead, it's hard not to like the kid from the moment you see him. Under four feet tall with giant doe eyes, he is generally a very sweet child--considerate, reflective, and very intelligent. Upon first meeting him, you may find no traces of a behavioral issue.

Edwin also scores major points for the comical nature of his ADHD which, depending on whether he has taken his medication or not, determines who he will be for the day: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. The code amongst adults to indicate it is a no-medication day is: "The Great Cornholio has arrived". I gave Edwin the moniker after observing the astounding resemblance between him and Beavis (of Beavis and Butthead fame) on a sugar high. When Edwin arrives at his school without ADHD meds in his system, he has been known to roll on the floor, sit in trash cans, ramble in Spanish, make inexplicable screeching noises, smart off to adults, and in true Cornholio style, put his shirt over his head. When the school is fortunate enough to have an extra supply of his medicine, we shove the pill down his throat, take him to an empty hallway to run off some energy for 30 minutes, and then watch in amazement as the maniacal Dr. Jekyll transforms back into the polite, civilized Mr. Hyde. I never believed in the true medical nature of ADHD until I met this boy.

Edwin has another more unpleasant side, however, which rears its ugly head from time-to-time. He harbors some anger and hostility towards adults because of environmental factors, and from time-to-time he makes the unwise decision to say things and act in a very disrespectful way. This first week back from the holidays suggests that something unknown is really eating at Edwin. Either that, or he's forgotten how to be a student. He's been yelling out in classes, refusing to do work, and smarting off to teachers when they consequent him.

And, still--perhaps because I'm a bit removed from the situation--it's hard not to like the kid. Yesterday he was kicked out of two consecutive classes by two different teachers. Today I got wind of the circumstances which landed him a seat in the hall. In Language Arts class, Edwin was being quite the pill--yelling out intermittently in a smart alec tone attempting to play the class clown and steal a few laughs from his peers. Ms. Andy, his L.A. teacher, was at the end of her fuse, so she addressed Edwin, saying:

"Edwin, if you speak out of turn one more time, you're going to get the boot."

I can just imagine Edwin's response with his high voice, slight lisp, and semblance of a Hispanic accent.

"What kind of boot? What size is it? It might be too big. I only wear a size 3."

When this smart remark earned him his ejection from the class, Edwin exited in true Ricky Ricardo style, firing off a rapid slew of indecipherable expletives in Spanish.

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