Striving for Spectrum
When Connor Archer was in the 7th grade, he found a binder full of papers detailing observations of him at school. The same word kept coming up over and over again — Autism.
“I brought the binder to my mom and asked her to explain,” says Archer.
Jessica Archer was prepared. “We had talked about autism before, but Connor had never made the connection that he had autism,” she explains. “We would always use phrases like ‘different learner,’ and focused on his many strengths versus dwelling on the challenges.”
That day, Jessica went into her closet and pulled out seven notebooks filled with information about her middle son. The daily journals dated back to when Connor was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3.
“They told the story of how he learned to talk, write, move like other kids and other things,” Jessica Archer explains. “Connor spent hours that day reading them.”
Afterward, he came downstairs. Jessica was cooking at the time. Her 13-year old took both of her hands, looked at his mom and said thank you. “You see, in those journals was my journey with him,” she says, “and how I became Connor’s life teacher.”
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