Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Short Essay: Autobiography by Alex

Song:  Archangel

Group:  Two Steps From Hell

As mentioned in my last article...
this is Alex's Essay.

I decided to start him from the very basics of essay writing.

It is a very simple and concise Autobiography.

He has an on-line English course which has him write essays and submit them.

He has always loved to write...
but only on his interests...
and in a free writing style.

I had him first break down the essay in to sections...
and to outline each section.

I had him write down some major points of discussion for each section...
I then had him expand on those points.

I wanted to keep it simple and very basic.

I copied and pasted with only minimal modifications.

I had to delete certain pieces of private information...
and I had to re-align the paragraphs, as they had gotten out of spec
when it was copied from Microsoft Word to the writing submission site.

We also had to combine the 3rd and 4th eras...
 as the writing program limited us to a 5 paragraph essay.




     I am a 2E child (commonly referred as Twice Exceptional).  I was diagnosed as Autistic at the age of 3.  I am now 11 years old.  My life is divided into four eras of educational transitions.  
The first era encompasses the years of my life from 0-3 years old (Pre-diagnosis) as told to me by my parents. 
The second era encompasses the years of my life from 3-5 years old (ABA therapy).  
The third era encompasses the years from 5-9 years old (Elementary school).  
The fourth, and final, era encompasses the years from 9-11 years old (Homeschooling).  My name is Alex [last name deleted], and this is my autobiography.  
     I do not remember any of the first era.  However, I am writing this based on what my parents have told me.  I was born in [location deleted] on November [day deleted] 2000.  In general, I cried loudly unless I was being held, swaddled in a blanket, or rocked.  I did not make any cooing/babbling sounds throughout my infancy.  I was nonverbal until I was 3 1/2 years old. When I encountered loud noises, I crouched down, covered my ears, and rocked back and forth.  I also had an unusual attraction to letters, numbers, and symbols.  
      The second era, which I partially remember, started when I turned 3 years old.  It was also the beginning of my ABA therapy.  ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis.  The program uses positive reinforcement to encourage positive behavior.  The program was conducted by a team of teachers, working 35-40 hours a week at my home.  My teachers were very kind to me, as well as being very effective in teaching me correct behavior.  I loved the therapy sessions, as well as the teachers.  Both the therapy sessions and teachers, made me feel comfortable in my surroundings and more able to adapt to them.  When I was 4 years old, I attended preschool with a teacher from my ABA therapy company [company deleted].  I remember being very happy during this era.  
     I shall combine the third and fourth eras as my homeschooling began while I was going to school. The third era started when I entered elementary school at 5 years old and ended when I left public school at 9 years old after 4th grade. I earned a Johns Hopkins Talent Search Top in Country award in the 3rd grade for math. In the same year, I learned Prealgebra with a computer program at my school called ALEKS. I went to an advanced math class with 7th-8th graders to study Algebra I in 4th grade. I also won a 4th-6th grade school spelling bee with a 6th grader in 4th grade. I got accepted as a Davidson Academy Young Scholar while in 4th grade. During this era, I felt unchallenged by the regular material in my classes. However, the advanced math class I was in had material that stimulated me and actually taught me something new.  
     The fourth and final era started when I left public school at 9 years old to homeschool.  I started PLATO, a basic online course, and later Thinkwell Math.  My dad began teaching me to play the flute in May 2011.  This era also marked the beginning of my home-based physical training such as in supplemental Karate training and Weightlifting with my dad.  My dad retired in May of 2011, leaving time for more in-home activities. We moved to Reno, NV in November because of greater educational opportunities here.  
     In this autobiography, I described some significant events in life, such as going to public school, switching to homeschooling, etc.  I think of my life as very eventful as well as very pleasurable.  In the future, I plan to become a mathematics professor/computer programmer and pass on concepts to many children.


I wanted to keep our session short...
as we are lightening his normal subject load to make more time 
to prepare for his SATs in a couple of months.

I had broken it in to 5 short sessions...one each day.

I wanted to keep it light and fun.

This also allowed me to concentrate on the basics...
of outlining what he wished to expand on in each section.

I then had him write the section.
I critiqued each section...
had given him guidance on how to improve an area
(he tended to add too much unnecessary information)
and I had him re-write it.

His writing and outlining improved with each section.

When I first started teaching him the basics...
he looked upon the task with a certain amount of trepidation.

I, of course, had seen this in him.
It was then that I had decided to break it up in to easily digestible bites...
and to keep it very simple.

 He had a big smile and a chest filled with pride 
when I praised his completed paper.

We will continue to work on his writing a little bit each day.
I wish for him to see writing as something that can be enjoyable...
while still being informative and concise.

Alex's job is to learn as much as possible.

It is our job, as his parents...
 to keep his passion for learning, alive and well fed...
through conceptual explanations...
easily digestible sections on a daily basis...
gentle corrections through guidance of a better way...
and a great amount of praise for a job well done.

I simply live to see the glittering of Alex's eyes
and his suppressed glee and pride
(he is naturally modest in nature)
when he grasps and applies a concept...
and achieves a new level of understanding.

This is just one of the many reasons I LOVE being a Father.


  1. Very impressive essay. Glad to see that he had pride in a job well done.

  2. Yes...Alex is very proud of his accomplishment. Thank you.


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