Young Adult Fiction posted July 17, 2011 Chapters:  ...15 16 -17- 18... 


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The meeting in Mr. Houston's office

A chapter in the book Tanisha's Way

The End?

by Deejharrington



Background
Everyone involved and care about Lucy are meeting with Mr. Houston, the principal of the school.

Everyone was crammed into Mr. Houston's office. All except one. Ms Bowman, the social worker had sent a message she would be detained. When his secretary brought him the note, Mr. Houston didn't look happy. Actually, no one looked happy. Tanisha looked at each face in the room. It had been a crazy and hectic week. To end it with all of them just sitting and waiting was very strange.

First off, on Monday lunch a group of homies had approached Tanisha. She'd seen them in the streets but certainly didn't know them by name. The leader, she guessed, tapped her on the shoulder, "Hey, you Tanisha?"

"Ahhh, yeah, I... I'm Tanisha. Whatta want?" She didn't know if she should run or listen to what he had to say. Not that she'd probably get very far. He had about five of his boys with him.

"Me and da boys been seen'en you and Pooky here watching out for that Lucy girl." The boy put his foot on the seat and started twirling a key chain. Spooky gave Tanisha a wide-eyed look that said, you got this one.

"You, you have, huh?" Tanisha tried not to look intimidated.

"Yeah. We's think it's cool. Man, it ain't down with us to make fun of somebody who can't help being different. That right, Eyes?" He turned and talked with a boy who Tanisha noticed was cross-eyeds. "Anyways, we just wants ya to know we got your back. Anybody even try to mess with Lucy and they be mess'en with The South Street Boyz. That right,?" He turned to his gang and they all grunted their agreement. With a motion of the leader's hand, the gang moved on.

"What was that all about?" Spooky whispered to Tanisha, not wanting any of the gang to hear. "Are they mad at us?"

"No,they....they got our back with Lucy," Tanisha stared at Spooky in astonishment.

"You mean they're goin' help protect Lucy? You gotta be kidding. The South Street Boyz are one of the toughest gangs around school. Man, this just keeps getting stranger." Spooky shook her head.

Before they could discuss it anymore, John Whittering, the captain of the football team, came up to their table. "Hi, girls. You don't know me but the boys on the team have been talking about how girls like Lucy, you know different, shouldn't have to worry about bullies. And all of us talked it over with the Coach and decided that we'll take over watching over Lucy when you two can't. You just let us know when you need us and we'll be there. O.K.? O.K." All six foot six of him walked away before either girl could form a word.

That's when Lucy walked into the lunchroom. Tanisha had told Big Momma all about Lucy. But Big Momma didn't tell Tanisha she knew Lucy's aunt and uncle through church. And all of them knew a hairdresser who would give Lucy a new look. So without Tanisha knowing anything about it, they all got together in the basement of the church. A few hours later, a new hairdo and new clothes from the church resale shop, and a new Lucy appeared.

Tanisha thought she looked kinda like an African princess. The hairdresser had cut Lucy's hair very short and close to her head. It brought out her high forehead and cheekbones. She wore long dangley earrings and a dress with a wild print. Spooky and Tanisha just stared at her as she passed by their lunch table.

Spooky quickly got up and chased after her. "Lucy, here we are. Tanisha and I are sitting over here. Don't you want to come and sit with us?"

Lucy looked for a moment then remembered the clue, "Yes, I would like to sit with you and Tanisha, please." She turned and followed Spooky back to the table.

Yes, it had been one heck of a week, Tanisha thought as she came back to the present moment in Mr. Houston's office. They were all still waiting for Ms Bowman. Big Momma was there and so was Spooky's mother. Mrs. Penney tried to keep the conversation going but it was falling flat as Mr. Houston grew more impatient with his missing social worker.

He was about to start the meeting without her, which would have suited Tanisha fine, when Ms Bowman walked in as though someone was chasing her. "Busy, busy day. Fridays are always like this. Never a moment to myself. I haven't even had time for lunch," Ms Bowman prattled on as she took the empty seat and settled herself down. "Well, are we going to get this started?"

At first, even Mr. Houston was at a loss for words. "Ah, yes. Now that we're all here, let's start. Ms Bowman, I believe you called for this meeting. Would you care to start?"

"Certainly, Mr. Houston, I'd be pleased to do so. I will come right to the point. I am the designated representative of the school district and the Special Education Department. As Lucille has been certified A.I. and because I am in charge of her I.E.P., I feel that it is imperative to Lucille's progress that the interference of Tanisha and Samantha desist immediately."

The room erupted in chaos.






Recognized


The Mayo Clinic defines "Asperger's syndrome as a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others."

Many of the Lucy's behaviors are signs of Asperger's Syndrome:
1. Social Awkwardness/no friends
2. Focus on one subject
3. Lack of eye contact
4. Sensitive to noise/touch/feeling of clothing
5. Slow to begin talking
6. Odd speech/very proper speech
7. Craves routine
8. Appears lost/in own world
9. Flapping of hands
10.Comunication problems
11. Stemming problems: repetitive stereotypic behavior especially under stress. Visual-staring Auditory-tapping fingers Tactile-hair twisting

These are a sample of the behaviors associated with this syndrome that is on the spectrum of autism.

Two books that are sources written by Craig Kendall
"The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide"
"Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teens & Young Adults ; Thriving (not just Surviving)"

Other sources are:
"I am Utterly Unique" by Elaine Marie Larson (excellent for pre-school and young children)

"Understanding Autism for Dummies" by Stephen M. Shore,MA
and Linda G. Rastelli, MA (though I dislike the title)

"Growing Up On The Spectrum" by Lynn Kern, Ph.D. and Claire LaZebnik ( Not only has wonderful information, parts are written by the author's eighteen year old son who has Asperger's Syndrome. I highly recommend it.)

A middle school in New Jersey has started a program that pairs peers with students with Asperger's. It has become so successful that in the following year 90% of the student body has signed up to participate.

The Mayo Clinic defines "Asperger's syndrome as a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others."

Many of the Lucy's behaviors are signs of Asperger's Syndrome:
1. Social Awkwardness/no friends
2. Focus on one subject
3. Lack of eye contact
4. Sensitive to noise/touch/feeling of clothing
5. Slow to begin talking
6. Odd speech/very proper speech
7. Craves routine
8. Appears lost/in own world
9. Flapping of hands
10.Comunication problems
11. Stemming problems: repetitive stereotypic behavior especially under stress. Visual-staring Auditory-tapping fingers Tactile-hair twisting

These are a sample of the behaviors associated with this syndrome that is on the spectrum of autism.

Two books that are sources written by Craig Kendall
"The Asperger's Syndrome Survival Guide"
"Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teens & Young Adults ; Thriving (not just Surviving)"

Other sources are:
"I am Utterly Unique" by Elaine Marie Larson (excellent for pre-school and young children)

"Understanding Autism for Dummies" by Stephen M. Shore,MA
and Linda G. Rastelli, MA (though I dislike the title)

"Growing Up On The Spectrum" by Lynn Kern, Ph.D. and Claire LaZebnik ( Not only has wonderful information, parts are written by the author's eighteen year old son who has Asperger's Syndrome. I highly recommend it.)

A middle school in New Jersey has started a program that pairs peers with students with Asperger's. It has become so successful that in the following year 90% of the student body has signed up to participate.

I.E.P.- Indivdual Educational Plan
A.I.- Autically impaired

Ms/Ms.-both versions are correct

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