My 13-year-old twice-exceptional son finished his last performance as the prince in Once Upon a Mattress with his childrens' musical theater group. He did really well. The month long musical theater camp was five days a week with 7 hour days. It was difficult for him physically. Even though he had finished physical therapy it was difficult for him to do as much as the other kids when they practiced the dances and he had to sit and watch part of the time. Three days before the first performance he somehow hurt his knee and it hurt to even walk so he had to say his lines from a chair. He went back to physical therapy and his knee got better in time to do the show.

He was able to memorize his lines and do everything he needed to do to perform well even though he usually didn't get more than about six hours of sleep each night. Even with melatonin the brace that he has to wear for ten hours each night makes it very difficult for him to sleep. He usually had to use caffeine to wake up and Aleve for the almost daily pain, but he was able to do what he needed to do and he did it without any help from me. He only got about four hours of sleep the night before a local television performance, then he did the 7 hour rehearsal and an hour of physical therapy and still couldn't fall asleep until 3:00 a.m. the next morning. I don't know how he did it, but I am glad he did. The director told me several times that he was really pushing himself physically. He is learning to work through the pain to accomplish what he wants to do. I am very proud of him.

He also had to write a short play using the older kids in his group as the cast and then he had to act as the director and get them ready to perform for an audience. I think that was a really good experience for him.