Pieces of the Child

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Chapter 108: Robyn's Ashes
(by NativeRose, added on 24 November 2007 01:50 AM)

Robyn was doing well in Anela's class. This was due, in part, to her psychotherapy sessions with Candice and her art and music therapy with Heidi. Her doctor also put her on a mood stabalizer, and that seemed to help as well. Raymond and Mrs. Aimes said there was a huge difference at home, too. Robyn seemed to enjoy helping Zack with the little things that he was discovering. Like Kennan, he had to learn about the world around him, and he needed someone to help him explore it. Miss Anela was teaching him some of the same things as Kennan: the spacial concepts: over, under, in, through, up, down, left, right. Robyn decided that stuff could be used during playtime. She often pushed him in the specialized swing, built sand castles with him, watched the birds with him. This was surprising to everyone, as they never thought she'd get along with anyone. There were still many outbursts, but they didn't have to use physical restraint or seclusion timeout as often as they did in the first days. Perhaps the most shocking development took place when another student with behavioral issues started classes at Apple Valley. Robyn first saw Chelsea outside Miss Lane's classroom. Miss Lane was quietly talking to her, but the girl wasn't listening at all. She was much like Robyn in that she'd rather take her aggressions out on everyone around her. She screamed and kicked and fought physical restraint all the way to seclusion. Robyn wondered if Chelsea was like her. Of course, at that time, Robyn didn't know her name. She saw the girl at recess one day and decided to talk to her.
"Hi, I'm Robyn. Are you new here?"
"Go away!" the girl said angrily, flinging pebbles at Robyn. A teacher saw what was going on and watched intently so she could intercede before violent conflict could erupt.
"What's your name?"
"Chelsea...now get out of my way!"
"Oh, I'm seven. How old are you?" Before the girl could answer (if she had the inclination to do so), Miss Lane walked by. She greeted Robyn, but Chelsea looked at the teacher with great anger and in complete disgust.
The teacher left, and Chesea said, "She wants me to go work on reading...I hate reading! Writing sucks, too! the people who want to read and write are stupid...just like that teacher."
"I don't like reading, either," Robyn began, "because all the words get mixed up. I feel stupid when I can't make them come out right."
"Me too."
"But my teacher is nice, and she never laughs at me when I get mixed up. She's teaching me how to read and write, and she makes it fun!"
"I think it's stupid and boring."
"No," Robyn said, "it's not...not the way Miss Anela teaches it."
"Oh. At first, I thought you would laugh at me like other people do. Maybe you don't since you don't like to read and write, either."
"Yeah, it's hard. Maybe you can work with Miss Anela. She makes learning letters fun."
"Maybe," Chelsea said, "I don't know."
"Oh, there's the bell! I have to go help Zack." Chelsea watched Robyn run to the boy who always at under the tree and watched the birds. She grabbed his hand and helped him stand up, and then they went to their class together. She's nice, Chelsea thought, and maybe, just maybe, I could ask her teacher to help me read. Everyone says she nice...

Several teachers and aides watched the interaction between Robyn and Chelsea.
"Remember that verse about how the Messiah would give us beauty for ashes?" anela asked Jane, Anna and Sara. "Well," she continued, "that is a perfect example. God took the ashes of Robyn's first days here and used them to help another girl who currently feels alone because of her dyslexia." Maybe Robyn could bring her hope.

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