The Other Side of the Story - The Mystery of the Missing Buttons

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The Other Side of the Story - Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

The Mystery of the Missing Buttons

The dedicated special-ed teacher was exasperated. Every day she would welcome her favorite special- needs pupil, and notice that the child was missing buttons. Blouse buttons, coat buttons... Poor child, she thought. Not enough that the child has speech problems and learning problems, but why can't her mother at least send her to school looking neat and normal? I must bring up this problem with the school social worker and school psychologist, she reasoned.

Meanwhile, back home, the child's mother was exasperated. Every day she would see her child getting off the school bus looking "undone." Missing buttons: Sleeve buttons, coat buttons... What on earth do they do in that kindergarten? Climb trees? Do army drills? Why can't they send her home looking neat and normal? I must be more assertive, she thought.

There is a third side to this story: The child's side. When no one was looking, especially on the bus on the way to school, she would amuse herself by turning buttons around and around, pluck them off, and later, quietly, flush them down the toilet. In the afternoons she would love to watch her mother sewing, and sewing and sewing... It took the mother, and all kinds of experts, over a year to solve this mystery, while the "slow learner" was having a jolly good time!

The Other Side of the Story Archives

Based on "The Other Side of the Story" by Mrs. Yehudis Samet, ArtScroll Series

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